I’m a Mac fan through and through, but I’m also a strong believer in communication and collaboration with other computer platforms, mostly Windows. I’ve used Parallels since version 3 to allow me to not only echo (emulate) Windows XP and Windows 7, but also to immediately access Mac OS X Snow Leopard (mostly AppleWorks stuff) and Mountain Lion.
Being able to do this on my MacBook Pro with the extended screens on my 27” iMac (via Thunderbolt cable) and iPad 3 (via AirPlay) has been incredible. With Parallels Desktop for Mac, I can seamlessly run both Windows and Mac OS X applications side-by-side without rebooting. It is a breeze to drag-and-drop files between Windows and Mac applications then launch Windows applications from my Mac dock.
This powerful performance lets me run Windows productivity applications, even graphics intensive ones, with ease. Since I’ve reviewed Parallels 8 and earlier before, my focus in this article is one what’s new including:
- OS X Mavericks (10.9) and Windows Blue (8.1) support
- Mavericks multiple display support extends to Windows so each screen as a menu bar and Dock
- Mavericks Finder Tabs work with my Windows applications
- Create a separate Mavericks VM using the “install OS X Mavericks” app
- PowerNap extends to Windows and Windows applications so you’re always up to date
- Mountain Lion Dictionary gesture works in Windows applications
- Connect Thunderbolt and Firewire storage devices to either my Mac or virtual machine – just like I do with USB devices
- The New Virtual Machine wizard makes it even easier to create new virtual machines, automatically locating operating systems on my machine or letting me manually select a range of media types to install
- 40% better disk performance than the previous version
- Virtual machines shut down up to 25% faster than the previous version
- Virtual machines suspend up to 20% faster than the previous version
- 3D graphics and web browsing is 15% faster than the previous version
- Battery life is improved running Mac OS X Mavericks
- iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive optimizations eliminate duplication of files locally
- Get stuff done in Windows 8 with a “real” Start menu and the ability to run Modern (Metro) apps in a separate window rather than in full screen (looking forward to using this feature when I start using Windows 8)
- The Security Center makes it easy for me to be sure all my stuff is secure, both on my Mac and in my Windows virtual machine
As if this isn’t enough, Parallels also allows me to use my iPad mini Retina display to view my EVERYTHING on my computer remotely using Parallels Access. I’m actually typing this from my iPad mini now ... this is just too cool, its something you need to experience yourself!
But, that’s not all, for companies, Parallels also offers a number of other Parallels Business Solutions including the Parallels Management Suite and Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition. These products enable IT departments to simply maintain compliance and control while still embracing the technology employees need. IT professionals can protect their investments in Windows-based applications because now they can deliver them on Macs, leverage existing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) infrastructure and skills to fully manage Macs and virtual machines, and unleash productivity by giving employees the freedom to use any Mac or PC app remotely as if it was made for an iPad.
There is much to brag about with Parallels’ products. Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac is available for $79.99 (which includes a free six-month subscription to Parallels Access for iPad, a $39.99 value), available at www.parallels.com. Numerous other products, videos, descriptions, and opportunities are also available here. I highly recommend Parallels as a great value, very fast, extremely reliable, and wonderfully versatile.