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

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Always good to see Parallels and VMWare competing aggressively.

    A few nice features but I will stick with VM I think.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    payecopayeco Posts: 158member
    Did they remove the ridiculous ads paying customers were subjected to in the last version?
  • Reply 3 of 36


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

     

  • Reply 4 of 36


    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

  • Reply 5 of 36
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,588member
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 36
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 893member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 36


    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.

  • Reply 9 of 36
    johnnashjohnnash Posts: 127member

    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.



     

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

    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!  


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     
  • Reply 10 of 36
    johnnashjohnnash Posts: 127member

    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



     

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

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


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     
  • Reply 11 of 36
    johnnashjohnnash Posts: 127member

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

    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.


     


     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     
  • Reply 12 of 36
    dtidmoredtidmore Posts: 137member


    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 36
    johnnashjohnnash Posts: 127member



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    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?


     


     
  • Reply 14 of 36


    How did you purchase version 8?


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

  • Reply 15 of 36
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member


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

  • Reply 16 of 36
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 36
    doggonedoggone Posts: 164member


    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.

  • Reply 18 of 36
  • Reply 19 of 36

    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

  • Reply 20 of 36

    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

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