Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac launches with cloud storage support, Windows 8 Start button, 40% faster

Posted:
in Mac Software edited July 2015
Existing Parallels users can now get their hands on Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac, the latest version of the virtualization software that lets Mac users run Windows applications natively, with new features such as cloud storage optimizations for iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.

Parallels


Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac also includes support for OS X Launchpad in Windows applications, and it enhances support for Apple's forthcoming OS X 10.9 Mavericks. For users of Windows 8, Parallels Desktop 9 also incorporates the familiar Start menu and Windows Start button.

Thursday's launch of Parallels Desktop 9 is available for existing customers for $49.99, while those who recently purchased may be eligible for a free upgrade. Customers who buy Parallels Desktop 8 today will also be eligible to upgrade to the new version at no additional charge.

Parallels


Parallels Desktop 9 extends the OS X PowerNap feature to Windows and Windows applications, and also allows Mountain Lion Dictionary gesture compatibility in Windows apps. It also allows users to connect Thunderbolt and FireWire devices to either their Mac or virtual machine, just like with USB.

The latest version of Parallels also enhances the virtual machine wizard, making it easier to create new systems by automatically locating operating systems on a Mac. Users can also manually select a range of media types to install.



Parallels Desktop 9 also packs a number of performance improvements according to its developer, such as:
  • 40 percent better disk performance than the previous version
  • Virtual machines shut down up to 25 percent faster than the previous version
  • Virtual machines suspend up to 20 percent faster than the previous version
  • 3D graphics and web browsing is 15 percent faster than the previous version
Parallels


For cloud storage integration, Parallels Desktop 9 adds iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive optimizations that eliminate duplication of files locally.

And the new Parallels also aims to address issues with Microsoft's Windows 8 platform, adding a "real" Start menu, and the ability to run Metro applications in a separate window, rather than full screen.

A new Security Center in Parallels Desktop 9 is said to make it easier to ensure that files are secure, both on the Mac and in a Windows virtual machine. The new version supports both OS X 10.9 Mavericks and Windows 8.1.

In addition, Parallels Desktop 9 comes with a six-month subscription to Parallels Access for iPad, announced earlier this week. That new software allows customers to remotely access and experience Windows and Mac applications as if they were designed for Apple's iPad.

Parallels


Other features highlighted by Parallels include:
  • Mac gestures inside Windows apps: Parallels Desktop now includes the addition of the Dictionary lookup gesture in Windows applications
  • PDF printer for Windows: Lets people print from any Windows application to a PDF on the Mac desktop, even if the application doesn?t have that functionality
  • Sticky multi-monitor setup: When using Windows in Full Screen mode and connecting to an external monitor, Parallels Desktop will remember settings and put the Windows virtual machine back in full screen mode on the remote monitor
  • Custom keyboard: Editable keyboard shortcuts help customize the Windows experience
  • Linux guest integration: Parallels Desktop customers who use Linux now have additional and enhanced integration with the Mac OS
"Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac customers will enjoy peace of mind knowing that Parallels keeps pace with and supports leading new technologies, such as the upcoming OS X Mavericks, Windows 8.1 and increasingly popular cloud services," said Parallels CEO Birger Steen. "We thank our customers for appreciating our innovations and making Parallels Desktop for Mac the No. 1-selling software for running Windows on a Mac for seven years and counting."

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac will become broadly available for purchase next Thursday, Sept. 5. It is now available as a $50 upgrade for legacy Parallels users, and a free upgrade for those who recently bought Parallels Desktop 8.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,382member
    I'd be interested in a detailed comparison of speed and features between Parallels and VMWare. I used to use both and test them myself but these last fe years I have just used VMWare. Currently using the latest available VMWare Fusion on my MBPro i7 fitted with a boot Scamsung SSD opening a saved Windows 8 VM from my SDD drive in Mavericks takes only seconds, likewise with a Mavericks Server VM.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    ... and if you wait a few months they'll be begging you to buy a copy with a much reduced price, or you'll be able to snag it in a macupdate bundle for even cheaper.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    as a happy user op PD7 - which I purchased directly from Parallels - I am surprised to see that the price for me is %u20AC 49,99 in stead of $ 49,99
    aparently, it is not possible for me to pay in us-dollars anymore.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I use VMWare now but would consider switching instead of upgrading to the latest VMWare. The feature I really want to hear about: which one works better with Boot Camp? I don't like to reboot my Mac and give up my apps, bookmarks, etc., and wouldn't do it often, but if one of the two will officially let me do that and works well, that would be a nice tie-breaker feature.

    Better yet would be official support for booting Windows from an external drive, saving space on my SSD--but that's down to Microsoft and Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    can you play games in this? how is the performance?
  • Reply 6 of 42
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post



    I use VMWare now but would consider switching instead of upgrading to the latest VMWare. The feature I really want to hear about: which one works better with Boot Camp? I don't like to reboot my Mac and give up my apps, bookmarks, etc., and wouldn't do it often, but if one of the two will officially let me do that and works well, that would be a nice tie-breaker feature.



    Better yet would be official support for booting Windows from an external drive, saving space on my SSD--but that's down to Microsoft and Apple.


     


    I routinely boot virtual machines from external hard drive - never had any issue - if the Mac OS can se the volume then I can put a virtual disk there. I haven't tried over a network but I have 1Gbps switch so might work. 


     


    I have used external USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt drives to hold my VMs. 

  • Reply 7 of 42
    styrstyr Posts: 1member
    The price is only valid if you live in US, for others it's higher.
    Free for all that have bought the product after Aug.15.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,737member


    So Parallels fixed Windows . . .

  • Reply 9 of 42


    For anyone who upgraded and you're not seeing the start menu.  You have to go to the view menu and choose the Windows 7 look.  It'll then download some files from Stardock and you'll have a Start menu.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnnash View Post


    For anyone who upgraded and you're not seeing the start menu.  You have to go to the view menu and choose the Windows 7 look.  It'll then download some files from Stardock and you'll have a Start menu.





    I am not a fan of any 3rd-party VM app that tinkers with Windows.  I'm waiting for Win8.1 to bring back the start button.  That's best left for microsoft to fix.  Until then, if you're running VMware/Parallels, why use Win8 when you can simply load Win7 instead - for the time being?



    I've been using VMware since the version 2.x days.  Loving it, and the excellent support I've received over the years.  They've even invited me into their labs in Palo Alto to work with their engineers on solving some USB interface issues with some legacy equipment.  That's dedication!

  • Reply 11 of 42
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


     


    I routinely boot virtual machines from external hard drive - never had any issue - if the Mac OS can se the volume then I can put a virtual disk there. I haven't tried over a network but I have 1Gbps switch so might work. 


     


    I have used external USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt drives to hold my VMs. 



     


    Thanks. But I mean really boot the Mac (Boot Camp) from Windows 8 on a partition of an external drive. Maybe a dedicated drive if need be. (And then use either VMWare or Parallels to run that same Windows installation virtually for most tasks--the ones not needing max performance.)


     


    I'll probably keep my old (relatively small) VMWare XP on the internal drive for IE7 web testing (yuck), but I also want to start doing more testing using Windows 8 and newer IE. But what a waste of good, fast, expensive SSD space!

  • Reply 12 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    nagromme wrote: »
    Thanks. But I mean really boot the Mac (Boot Camp) from Windows 8 on a partition of an external drive. Maybe a dedicated drive if need be. (And then use either VMWare or Parallels to run that same Windows installation virtually for most tasks--the ones not needing max performance.)

    Yes, you can boot a Mac from an external hard drive. I've done it.

    The simplest way is to make the drive internal, install OS X, then boot camp, then WIndows. Then make the drive external and you will be able to boot from it.

    However, using USB, it will be slow.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,200member


    Anyone knows if Apple will offer a cloud storage option anytime soon before I pay 50$/year for skydrive?

  • Reply 14 of 42
    kozchriskozchris Posts: 209member
    When I tried VMWare a year ago it was very buggy compared to Parallels so I didn't switch. Since then I've had to use Parallels phone support once and they were able to work with me right away and resolve the issue I was having. The Parallels updates seem to keep making the application better. I'll stick with Parallels even though I think the upgrade price is a little high.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,249member

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    Anyone knows if Apple will offer a cloud storage option anytime soon before I pay 50$/year for skydrive?


     


    I'm not sure how you haven't heard of iCloud.

  • Reply 16 of 42
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,200member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I'm not sure how you haven't heard of iCloud.



     


    and I will put my home videos and photos and other files on icloud how?  I need 100g of spaces btw

  • Reply 17 of 42
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,249member

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    and I will put my home videos and photos and other files on icloud how?  I need 100g of spaces btw



     


    Oh, an iDisk replacement. Yeah, they need one.


     


    Pictures go up just like anything else right now; use iPhoto/Aperture, yeah?

  • Reply 18 of 42
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,200member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Oh, an iDisk replacement. Yeah, they need one.


     


    Pictures go up just like anything else right now; use iPhoto/Aperture, yeah?



     


    I need virtual disk indeed.  I will wait after the next OS-X update before going with skydrive or Amazon cloud drive.


    Funny how Apple was the first to offer a cloud drive and now they are pretty much the only ones without one. Amazon and Microsoft have the same prices at 50$/year for 100g. Dropbox and google drive are more expensive.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    johnnashjohnnash Posts: 127member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


     


    I need virtual disk indeed.  I will wait after the next OS-X update before going with skydrive or Amazon cloud drive.


    Funny how Apple was the first to offer a cloud drive and now they are pretty much the only ones without one. Amazon and Microsoft have the same prices at 50$/year for 100g. Dropbox and google drive are more expensive.



     


    I have not used Amazon, but Skydrive is pretty damn neat.  I have a client that syncs across all my devices (iPhone,pad,mac) as well as my windows VM's.  From a Pricing viewpoint,  it aint that bad.  


     


    Interesting note about this new version of Parallels is that it actually includes iCloud into your VM's as a favorite (well, in windows so far).  You get your photostream and they expose the folder structure of your iCloud.  I don't know what you'd do with Pages and Numbers files (etc) in a Windows environment, but I guess you could use it as a drive like this...  That said, I have not played with it yet.

  • Reply 20 of 42
    Some people are still happy with P8 and Win 8. For me I just run Win 8 within P8 because I want to push my Mac happiness while I see all the misdesigned Win 8 GUI
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