Parallels Update For Mac
August 30, 2012

Parallels 8 Plays Liaison, Brings OS X And Windows Seamlessly Together

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Many people rely on running virtual machines every day as a part of their workflow. Whether they need to use a Windows application or simply have compatibility concerns, these virtual machine apps allow users to run both Mac OS X and Windows on an Apple machine.

For many years, the two most popular options for running these virtual machines on a Mac were (and still are) VMWare and Parallels Desktop.

Now, Parallels has just released their latest upgrade to this software which aims to make the combination of both operating systems as seamless as possible. This new version also adds Windows 8 integration and Retina Display support, great for those users on the bleeding edge.

According to a Next Web review, this Retina-ready version of Parallels was no easy task, creating their own method of rendering Windows´ apps, desktops and UI elements to make them look great on Apple´s newest display.

Furthermore, Parallels 8 brings Windows apps to Mountain Lion´s Launchpad, the application launcher-n-more in OS X. Now, any Windows app stored on your machine will show up next to your regular Mac apps, tagged with the Parallels logo to let you know that they´ll be run in either VM mode or Coherence mode. This mode will run the Windows app right next to your regular Mac apps, further lessening the distinction between the two OSes.

When Windows 8 is released this October, it will introduce a new set of hot corners and shortcuts, meant to bring a bit of the touchscreen tablet interface to the desktop. Parallels 8 has accounted for these new interactions with some clever mouse tricks. Mousing past a Windows screen with a normal gait will move the cursor past the window normally. However, move the mouse slowly towards the outer corners of the Windows app, and you´ll have access to these hot corners and shortcuts.

Other native Mac mouse and touchpad gestures will also translate in Parallels 8, such as pinch-to-zoom, swiping between apps in full screen mode and two-finger scrolling in documents and web pages.

Elsewhere in the new Parallels, Internet Explorer gets its own button in Safari. Now, web designers who want to check their work in Internet Explorer can view it in the Microsoft browser in a virtual machine, all right there in the comfort of their own Mac desktop. Sharing a file via Windows Outlook is an easy task with Parallels 8; Simply drag the desired file to the Outlook icon on the desktop, where it will be sent as an attachment.

Mountain Lion´s voice dictation also makes an appearance in Parallels 8, great for those who think better with their mouth than they do their fingers. The new, updated Parallels also brings another Mountain Lion feature to the Windows 8 experience with Notification Center. In the new virtual machine app, Windows apps can deliver notifications via the iOS-inspired Notification Center.

Overall, Parallels 8 is said to be up to 30% faster than previous versions of the app. This new update will be available to existing users exclusively by download starting August 30, 2012 for $49.99.

To those who are new to the Parallels world, this new version will be available on September 4th for $79.99.

VMWare users can switch to Parallels 8 for the reduced upgrade price of $49.99, and anyone who buys Parallels 7 on or after July 25, 2012 will be able to upgrade for free.