3 Parallels Workstation 2.2 Release Candidate

Today’s a 2-for-1 day. Earlier this morning we released a new build for Parallels Desktop, and now we’re releasing the Release Candidate for Parallels Workstation 2.2 for Windows & Linux!

2.2 RC has a number of improvements, the most notable of which are stronger support for Intel Virtualization Technology and AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology (both of which drive great performance and stability – see my recent blog post on the subject for more info), and the addition of Microsoft Windows Vista as a guest OS. You can check out the full list of new features here.

The addition of Vista is a really great feature for our Windows and Linux users, since they now have the ability to test Vista and play with configurations without having to sacrifice an entire production machine.

As with all updates, you won’t need to reinstall your guest OSes, nor will you lose any saved data. You should, however, reinstall Parallels tools after updating your Parallels Workstation build.

31 New build for Mac Pro available now

Just a few minutes ago our developers posted a new build (1898) for Desktop for Mac that substantially improves Mac Pro and 64-bit iMac performance and eliminates kernel panics and major bugs.

For those users who have Mac Pros and 64-bit iMacs with more than 2GB of RAM, you’ve had to manually limit your RAM via the instructions I laid out in my “Q&A about the Update RC” post. In this build, we’ve included a tool that will help you take this action without any command line coding. With a single click you can limit your RAM and make your Mac Pro fully compatible with this build. You can easily revert your memory back at any time to the full configuration with the same tool.

Its very important to note that limiting your RAM configuration to run Parallels Desktop will NOT prevent you from running any other OS X application (although they may run slightly slower). It simply helps our hypervisor “play nice” with the Mac Pro.

This build also adds support for Windows Vista RC1 as a guest OS, and adds an improved Parallels Tools package for all of the Vista builds that improves mouse movement, and video resolutions, and beefs up networking. I highly recommend you install it if you’re running Vista!

Originally, I told you that we’d have full PAE support by year’s end. Now, I’m pleased to let you know that we are working on a new RC version that will be compatible with ANY Intel-Mac with ANY amount of RAM, and will have it much sooner than originally anticipated. The engineering team tells me that this build should be available in a week or two.

Thank you again to all of our loyal Desktop users and beta testers. Everyone here appreciates your feedback and your patience.

If you recently purchased Desktop from a retail store, be sure to upgrade to the new build before you install any operating system on your computer. This will ensure that you’ve got a build that works with whatever Mac you’re using.

0 Parallels in NYC on Wednesday

For those of you in New York, I’ll be presenting at the SoHo Apple Store on Wednesday, September 20th from 6:30 – 7:30pm. This is a good opportunity for new and experienced Parallels users to ask questions about the product and learn more about the technology that powers it.

If you’re an Apple Store employee or business consultant, I’ll be at the SoHo store for about 2 hours prior to the presentation for employee training. Call the SoHo store to reserve a spot…they’re going fast.

3 “Ask Ben Anything” starts next week

Starting next Friday, I’ll be writing a weekly post called “Ask Ben Anything”, in which I’ll select a few (i.e., 3-5) of the dozens of weekly questions and comments I get about about Parallels products, virtualization, OSes, hardware, and technology in general. I’ll post the questions and my answers, along with any reference materials or media features I can find that help explain the technology or concept in question.

Of course, I will continue to write back as often as I can in the comments sections of each post, so keep those questions and comments coming!

I borrowed this concept from my friend Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal, who writes a weekly Q&A column called “Mossberg’s Mailbox”. The column is published every Thursday in the print edition of the Journal, and is also available online at Walt’s Personal Technology website. As with all of Walt’s stuff, its good reading if you’re looking for practical, real-world tech advice. Check it out.

Me and Walt. Two guys who dig technology and have weekly Q&A columns.

2 “Superior” has a nice ring to it

Be sure to check out the October edition of PC World Magazine for an excellent, objective review of Parallels Desktop for Mac. Narasu Rebbapragada, PC World’s Senior Review Editor, took a whack at Desktop and gave us an almost unheard of score of 90/100, earning us a “Superior” ranking.

Desktop received the highest score of the issue and one of the highest scores given to any software or hardware product reviewed by PC World this year. This is doubly impressive considering that this is from the leading PC magazine (with more than 5 million readers monthly), and NOT from a Mac-focused magazine!

Pick up your copy at any news stand (I got mine at Barnes & Noble), or read the full review online at

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