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Parallels 8 launches for existing owners with Retina display, Windows 8 support

post #1 of 35
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Parallels on Thursday launched the latest version of its machine virtualization software, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac, for owners of current Parallels products, offering a slew of performance improvements and new features like support for Apple's Retina display-toting MacBook Pro. New customers will be able to purchase Parallels 8 on Sept. 4.

The program, which allows Mac owners to run almost any operating system on their computers, has been updated to support a number of the newest features seen in OS X Mountain Lion while in the Windows environment, including voice dictation, trackpad gestures and notifications, among others.

For example, email attachments can now be dragged and dropped onto the dock icons for Outlook and other clients, while Windows applications can be added to the OS X Launchpad for quick access. Parallels cleverly integrates Windows notifications into Mountain Lion's Notification Center, making it simple to keep up to date without switching between the two operating systems.

With the new Parallels, multiple platforms, referred to as guests, can run at the same time. Guest applications can also be accessed across operating systems including Internet Explorer, which received its own toolbar button in Safari to be used when a user navigates to a web page not properly formatted for Apple's browser. As previously mentioned, IE or other non-native programs can be inserted into the Dock for easy access.

Parallels 8 Multi-OS
Parallels 8 multi-OS support. | Source: Parallels


Another key feature is seamless trackpad gestures, like pinch-to-zoom, swiping between full-screen apps and two-finger scrolling, which are now supported on the Windows side. Rounding out the major features is Retina display support for Windows, bluetooth sharing and VM resource management assets.

Veteran Parallels users will also likely notice a certain snappiness to the product, which the company claims is up to 30 percent faster than previous versions when gaming, and up to 25 percent quicker when performing virtual machine operations.

Parallels 8 Windows Apps
Windows apps in OS X Launchpad and IE in Dock. | Source: Parallels


Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is available now to current owners for $49.99. New customers and students will be able to pick up a copy on Sept. 4, with those editions priced at $79.99 and $39.99, respectively. A free trial will also be available on launch day, as well as a the $99.99 "Switch to Mac Edition" for current Windows users.
post #2 of 35
Always good to see Parallels and VMWare competing aggressively.

A few nice features but I will stick with VM I think.
post #3 of 35
Did they remove the ridiculous ads paying customers were subjected to in the last version?
post #4 of 35

Every time they deliver such an upgrade they promise "snappier performance, 30% faster". Sometimes I wonder how much of that is really true...
 

post #5 of 35

I am still waiting for DX10+ support. The ONLY use I have for Parallels is running Revit until Autodesk does a Mac native version. And being a DX app, and only having DX9 support in Parallels, is really frustrating. I have serious doubts I will bother upgrading Parallels anymore without meaningful graphics SUPPORT improvements. Of course VMWare is also crippled at DX9, so the fault may be with Microsoft. Typical.

 

Gordon

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebensmuede View Post

Every time they deliver such an upgrade they promise "snappier performance, 30% faster". Sometimes I wonder how much of that is really true...

 

I don't upgrade every time so I can't say if it's true EVERY time, but if you used Virtual PC in the old days, it's a pleasure to use Parallels or Fusion these days. There's absolutely no comparison at all. When I'm using either of these modern virtual machines, it feels just like I'm using a real Windows PC, and that's good enough for me.

Again, computers are so much faster than the average person needs today that either of the products allows you to work in 'real time' and not be concerned about the fact that you're using a VM. They're plenty fast for most uses that you're likely to put them to.
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post #7 of 35
I am currently testing VMWare 5 to run OS X 10.8 Server which works very well. The reason for this is running an OS X Server in a VM on a Mac sandboxes it nicely. However I have noticed a strange problem that when 10.8 is running in the VM certain programs fail to work correctly, it seems to be related to graphics I think. IBook Author is one example. All seem to work except there is nothing on the pages, they remain blank even though the program is in fact working correctly as can be shown by publishing and viewing results. Same with iWeb. I will have to grab Parallels 8 today and test that too. Anyone else seen this in VMWare 5?
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post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebensmuede View Post

Every time they deliver such an upgrade they promise "snappier performance, 30% faster". Sometimes I wonder how much of that is really true...
 

 

I was thinking the same thing.  If you follow the marketing all this time now that they are on version 8 it should be so fast that it will read you mind, load itself up, and do all the work you needed to do...   ;-)   Although I do agree with jragosta, each version does make things better.  I changed over to VMware when 3 came out, Parallels at the time took a step back on version 4 and amazed at how well both products run a second operating system with very little lag.

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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #9 of 35

Any word on improved Mac guest OS support? In a Windows VM you can copy and paste back and forth between your Mac and the VM, drag and drop files between them and use Coherence so that it looks like the app is running locally. None of these features are available in Mac VMs in Parallels 7.

 

I've also found the Mac side to be buggier too - shared folders often are unaccessible (requiring a reboot of the VM), performance is slower, it takes longer to start and shutdown the VM, and I sometimes get an issue where my mouse clicks about 5 pixels away from where the pointer is.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shookster View Post

Any word on improved Mac guest OS support? In a Windows VM you can copy and paste back and forth between your Mac and the VM, drag and drop files between them and use Coherence so that it looks like the app is running locally. None of these features are available in Mac VMs in Parallels 7.

 

I've also found the Mac side to be buggier too - shared folders often are unaccessible (requiring a reboot of the VM), performance is slower, it takes longer to start and shutdown the VM, and I sometimes get an issue where my mouse clicks about 5 pixels away from where the pointer is.

 

It sounds like there's something wrong with your install, that's always worked and I use Parallels in coherence 9+ hours a day for work.  In fact nothing you mentioned is an issue for me.
 
The only issue I have is since ML came out, switching between open windows became a little weird, sometimes they actually are brought into focus and sometimes they are not.  I'm willing to pay the $50 upgrade tax just to get rid of that!  
 
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonPrice67 View Post

I am still waiting for DX10+ support. The ONLY use I have for Parallels is running Revit until Autodesk does a Mac native version. And being a DX app, and only having DX9 support in Parallels, is really frustrating. I have serious doubts I will bother upgrading Parallels anymore without meaningful graphics SUPPORT improvements. Of course VMWare is also crippled at DX9, so the fault may be with Microsoft. Typical.

 

Gordon

 

FYI - I took the plunge and installed it, they have 'experimental' DX10 support.
 
post #12 of 35
BTW - here is the knowledge base article with the list of changes  http://kb.parallels.com/en/114669
 
I have it running, the only thing I've run across so far that doesn't seem to be working right is dictation.  When I hit FN twice to start dictating in Outlook, I just get the beep you get in OS X when you try to start dictation but a input window (like an email) doesn't have focus.
 
Besides that, things do seem snappier.  :P
 
But it's only been 10 min or so of playing.
 
 
 
post #13 of 35

I have been running Parallels ever since the original version launched.  Parallels 8 is by far the best one yet.  The performance is significantly snappier than version 7.  Integration into the Mac environment continues to improve and having all the trackpad gestures makes the ability to use mac and windows apps a consistent experience.  I also might add that as a beta tester on several versions of Parallels, including version 8, this was without question the cleanest beta they have ever delivered. 

post #14 of 35

Ok, well here's a problem.

 

It seems that you can't actually type in a coherence window in windows 7..  Looks like it's just in Windows 7, windows 8 works just fine.

 

 

Guys at Parallels?  Really?

 

 
post #15 of 35

How did you purchase version 8?

I went to their web site and only version 7 was available

post #16 of 35

I hope this solves the really long OS X Mountain Lion shutdown problem caused by Parallels 7.

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Windows apps in OS X Launchpad and IE in Dock.

 

 

Am I the only one who like to keep Windows VM completely isolated from his main OS X? I always find it annoying that the default setting for new VM in Parallels is for VM and Mac OS integration.

post #18 of 35

I spend more money on Parallels each year than I do on Apple software.  

 

I may skip this upgrade since P7 works very well on my rMBP and the XP OS I run boots and shuts down very fast.

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmbazar View Post

How did you purchase version 8?

I went to their web site and only version 7 was available

use this link http://www.parallels.com/upgradepd8

post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnash View Post

 

FYI - I took the plunge and installed it, they have 'experimental' DX10 support.
 

Yeah, I heard from a Parallels rep on their Forums that DX10 is there. I am curious to see how it works for people, and also if there is any difference in DX10 between 10.7 host and 10.8. The rep said that 10.7.4 or above is required, and the HD6xxx cards in my MBP and iMac should handle it. Now I just need to hear about stability from some gamers before I risk my work machines. So John, please post back with comments asap! ;-)

But given that my needs in Revit are minimal (Autodesk products being a joke when it comes to leveraging hardware in general) my hope is that PD 8 finally allows for anti-aliasing and perhaps a little faster modeling environment. Crossed fingers.

 

Gordon

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonPrice67 View Post

Yeah, I heard from a Parallels rep on their Forums that DX10 is there. I am curious to see how it works for people, and also if there is any difference in DX10 between 10.7 host and 10.8. The rep said that 10.7.4 or above is required, and the HD6xxx cards in my MBP and iMac should handle it. Now I just need to hear about stability from some gamers before I risk my work machines. So John, please post back with comments asap! ;-)

But given that my needs in Revit are minimal (Autodesk products being a joke when it comes to leveraging hardware in general) my hope is that PD 8 finally allows for anti-aliasing and perhaps a little faster modeling environment. Crossed fingers.

 

Gordon

 

Sorry man, the only gaming I do is WOW on the Mac client. 
 
All humor about 'snappiness' aside, windows does seem a bit quicker and there are a couple of nice features they've added.  There's a bug being reported in their forums which I'm also experiancing where you can't seem to type in coherence mode in Windows 7, Windows 8 doesn't have the problem.  You might want to wait a couple of days for them to patch that before installing if you work in coherence a lot.  I do have to say, once we started complaining in their support forum, they picked it up pretty quickly.
 
 
 
 
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

 

 

Am I the only one who like to keep Windows VM completely isolated from his main OS X? I always find it annoying that the default setting for new VM in Parallels is for VM and Mac OS integration.

There are at least two of us, because that is how I run Parallels.  I keep the VM in its own window.

Another thing I find annoying is the continual succession of upgrades at $50-$70 or so for each upgrade.

I started with Parallels in 2006.  I think I've gone through five upgrades now.  Now another one.

Does Fusion do this to its users?  

Meanwhile, I get OS X for $20!

post #23 of 35

Hmm, if you risked a production machine.... ;)

I am headed back to the states next week, hopefully there is a first patch out by then, and I can upgrade before I get back to nose to grindstone.

As for Coherence, I gave up previously, because performance was so bad. Maybe now it will work well enough to use. Certainly worth trying with each new release and build, if only to maintain a sense of optimism. ;)

 

Gordon

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDave View Post

Meanwhile, I get OS X for $20!

Yes, but Apple also made a good thousand $ selling the hardware that we use to run that $20 copy of the OS. Parallels only makes money on the software sales. I am happy to pay Parallels if there is actual value. Hell, I would LOVE to pay them $100 a year and get full GPU passthrough like the Windows Parallels Workstation offers. I mean, just maintenance on my Autodesk software is over $700 every single year, and that is after paying $5000 to start with! But yeah, I would be pissed if all I wanted Parallels for was to play some game. Part of the reason I wish they would split development. Charge me more and give me better performance AND stability, but only in modern OS's, say Windows 7 and later. Charge less for a consumer/gamer version where time and energy is pissed away making sure some stupid game runs in MS Bob. ;)

 

Gordon

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebensmuede View Post

Every time they deliver such an upgrade they promise "snappier performance, 30% faster". Sometimes I wonder how much of that is really true...
 

 

So this is yet another "paid" upgrade from the chief virtualization milkers - no, thanks. I bought Parallels 6 not so long ago (in 2011) and it's already incompatible with ML - so now one has to fork out 3x the price of ML just to install it with Apple's latest OS?

 

Just check the Parallels for Mac forums - the uproar against such "mandatory" annual paid upgrades is palpable. Their customer service practices, pathetic.

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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by payeco View Post

Did they remove the ridiculous ads paying customers were subjected to in the last version?

 

This is what I wondered as well.  Unthinkable for a paid product...

  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by payeco View Post

Did they remove the ridiculous ads paying customers were subjected to in the last version?

I'm on my third upgrade of parallels. It's a great product, but I have never seen a single ad. I don't know what you are referring to.... Though it is annoying to pay so much for an upgrade. Re-donk-ulous....

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDave View Post

Another thing I find annoying is the continual succession of upgrades at $50-$70 or so for each upgrade.

I started with Parallels in 2006.  I think I've gone through five upgrades now.  Now another one.

Does Fusion do this to its users?  

Fusion just went to version 5, and the first version came out roughly a year after the first version of Parallels.  So major upgrades happen a bit less frequently.

 

Also, I was able to skip Fusion 4 without any problems. So it's been a little over two years since I paid for a Fusion upgrade, which is about right in my books.

 
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post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnash View Post

 

It sounds like there's something wrong with your install, that's always worked and I use Parallels in coherence 9+ hours a day for work.  In fact nothing you mentioned is an issue for me.
 
 

 

How? Coherence doesn't exist for Mac guests. Only for Windows.

 

But from this link it looks like several of my complaints are addressed in version 8 (including Coherence) so I think I'll take the plunge.

 

http://kb.parallels.com/en/114669

post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shookster View Post

http://kb.parallels.com/en/114669

 

Sweet, a few other things in that list I like. Shared drive showing up as a native drive being one. If DX10 allows for anti-aliasing in Revit I am going to be very happy with this upgrade.

 

Gordon

post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebensmuede View Post

Every time they deliver such an upgrade they promise "snappier performance, 30% faster". Sometimes I wonder how much of that is really true...
 

Every computer is only as fast as the operating system running it. Parallels runs Windows...

 

The problem is not Parallels but Windows.

 

As for DirectX support that's largely down to the system used by Parallels to convert DirectX to OpenGL. Currently my understanding is that these open source systems don't support DirectX 10 because it hasn't been reversed engineered yet.

 

Incidentally this is not specific to Parallels because the same thing is the case for VMWare which is much slower and less easy to use than Parallels in my experience.

 

That being said I do like to do comparisons with each release. I will be installing VMWare today and compare it to Parallels today and when the upgrade comes. The reality is that I pretty much come back to Parallels every time. I'm not biased it's just that VMWare doesn't suit me although it is such a great product. It is slower than Parallels and it doesn't integrate with OS X as nicely as Parallels does. Neither is perfect though and ultimately it comes down to what you need or prefer.

post #32 of 35

"for owners of current Parallels customers"

 

Damn, I sold my Parallels customer only last week. He was good to have around for a while, typing, cooking etc, but just had to sell him.

post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shookster View Post

 

http://kb.parallels.com/en/114669

 

I like how these as new features:

 

- Run OS X Mountain Lion in a virtual machine.

- Create an OS X Mountain Lion virtual machine using the recovery partition.

 

Few weeks ago I tried to install ML as a virtual machine with Parallels 7 and it didn't work. I emailed them and they said Mountain Lion as guest is not supported. It turns out they have lowered the default VM setting for Mountain Lion so that it will not work. All I did was change the configuration to dual core and 2GB RAM and ML server was up and running on Parallels 7!

post #34 of 35

Just upgraded to Parallels 8  and guess what?   ( Using Mountain Lion Mac OS 10.8)  Dictation with the "function" "function" key activation works on the Window 7 side of the Mac!!!   So happy about it.    I think it is a bit slower than the Mac side but it works pretty much just the same...  very promising !

post #35 of 35

I just installed Parallels 8.  It absolutely does what they promise.  There is DX10 support, though they note that this support is "experimental".  As far as 30% faster, I'd say this is conservative.  It seems to start and stop easily twice as fast.  The integration with Mountain Lion is great.  To be ale to use all the Mac gestures on Windows applications is a nice feature, as is the ability to now put launch icons on the dock.  Files drag and drop anywhere.  I feel the price of the upgrade was well worth it.  And no, I do not work for Parallels or any other computer company.

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