Parallels Desktop 15 for macOS Catalina makes the move to Metal

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PC virtualization software maker Parallels on Tuesday released the newest version of its eponymous software, adding faster performance through Metal support for the first time, as well as Keychain integration.

PC virtualization software maker Parallels has released the newest version of its eponymous software, adding in Metal, Keychain support, and drag and drop.


Parallels has rolled out the latest iteration of its cross-platform solution, Parallels Desktop 15. Parallels has shifted to Metal, and offers support for DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11. This has led to an overall performance increase over previous versions of Parallels, with Microsoft Office applications launching 80 percent faster, and 3D graphics rendering 15 percent faster than before.

Parallels Desktop 15 will also natively support Sidecar. A new Touch Bar pane will give users the ability to toggle between Pen, Erase, and Mouse Mode, and will allow users to take advantage of Windows Ink Workspace.

Users will be able to install Windows 10 via the Installation Assistant, and will be able to upgrade any Windows 7 or Windows 8 virtual machines to Windows 10. The Installation Assistant gives users the ability to move a physical copy of Windows 10 and the associated applications to a Parallels Desktop virtual machine on a Mac.

Upgrading a virtual machine


Parallels has attempted to blur the lines between Mac and Windows through more fluid integration. Users can now drag and drop images from macOS into Windows to quickly create documents or edit images. Users can right-click a file in Finder and share it with Send with Windows Email App. Keychain support has been added, allowing users to one-click log in to websites and applications, even while emulating Windows.

Alongside the move to Metal, Parallels Desktop 15 boasts expanded support for CAD and CAM software, such as Autodesk 3DS Max, Lumion, MasterSeries and ArcGIS Pro 2.3.

Games such as Anno 2205, Risk of Rain 2, Age of Empires Definitive Edition, and Mark of the Ninja: Remastered will run far better than they did in Parallels Desktop 14. Specific to Catalina, users will be able to play Fallout 4, Fifa 19, and Madden NFL 19.

Users will be able to play games in the Windows 10 Virtual Machine with Xbox controller support via Bluetooth Low Energy support in Parallels Desktop 15.

Included with Parallels Desktop 15 is Parallels Toolbox for both Windows and Mac. Toolbox allows users to perform common actions with a single touch of a button, such as record screens, view clipboard memory, create GIFs, enter sleep mode, find duplicates, and more. Over 30 one-click tools are included in Parallels Toolbox.

In addition to Parallels Desktop 15, there are also the Parallels Desktop 15 Pro and Business editions get a few features that the standard versions do not have, such as a Virtual Platform Trusted Module (vTPM), which is required by Windows to enable additional security features. With the vTPM, users can enable BitLocker, use virtual smart cards, or utilize a more secure version of Windows Hello Pin.

Parallels showing Windows 7 and 8


Beyond running older versions of Windows that Boot Camp can't handle, older versions of macOS can be installed as well. Versions of macOS back to OS X 10.7 Lion can be installed onto a Parallels machine.

The Pro and Business editions likewise give users the ability to connect physical internal and external disks to their VM as logically internal disks, giving users the ability to install Windows and other operating systems to that disk, boot into the operating systems installed on that disk, and use non-native Boot Camp installations.

Parallels Desktop 15 requires macOS Mojave at minimum and will be compatible with Catalina at launch. Performance still depends heavily on hardware.

It can be purchased for a one time flat fee of $99.99, with Pro and Business editions coming in at $99 per year. Users who have older editions of Parallels Desktop may upgrade for $49.99, and can update to Pro and Business editions at a reduced cost of $49.99 per year.

In December 2018, Parallels was acquired by Canadian software giant Corel. Parallels is now under the same roof as Painter, WordPerfect and WinZip.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    CAPT_SquidwardCAPT_Squidward Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    “...will be compatible with Catalina at launch.” That is, compatible at the launch of Catalina, not Parallels 15!

    Since I upgraded to MacOS Catalina, running my top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, I have not had access to my MacOS file system (including my virtual desktop) within Parallels 14 regardless of the client OS (Windows 10, Windows XP, Mint and MacOS Mojave). This is a know issue that has effectively rendered my Parallels virtual machines unusable. When I saw Parallels 15 had been released, I had high hopes this bug would be fixed. It has not. I have no doubt, though, this will be corrected by the time Catalina goes public. For the time being, don’t expect Parallels 15 to solve your problem if you’re running Catalina beta. Better yet, don’t make the mistake of switching to the highly buggy Catalina beta before its public release.
    dws-2watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,995member
    Coincidentally, I was just thinking about possibly getting a hold of a virtualization app.  I seem to recall VMWare Fusion being more highly rated a little while ago, is that still the case?
  • Reply 3 of 19
    You can watch the full launch video of Parallels Desktop 15 in Australia here: 

    https://www.itwire.com/apps/full-launch-video-parallels-desktop-15-for-mac-launches,-catalina-ready,-major-improvements.html

    Hey AppleInsider, I did apply to become one of your writers... :-)

    Cheers

    Alex.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    with ARM cpu we will say goodbye to Virtualization and hello back to Emulation like in the Motorola and PowerPC era. I wonder if emulation speed has improve. 
  • Reply 5 of 19
    crowley said:
    Coincidentally, I was just thinking about possibly getting a hold of a virtualization app.  I seem to recall VMWare Fusion being more highly rated a little while ago, is that still the case?
    Not in my experience.  I used Fusion for several years before jumping over the Parallels with version 14.  I think Parallels runs far smoother.
    dws-2mistergsfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 160member
    crowley said:
    Coincidentally, I was just thinking about possibly getting a hold of a virtualization app.  I seem to recall VMWare Fusion being more highly rated a little while ago, is that still the case?
    Not my experience, but it probably depends on your purpose. With either product I would encourage you to perform a clean install of the version(s) of Windows you plan to use. Migrations have lots of leftover baggage that Windows generates over time. It is no different that reinstalling Windows on a PC after having used it for a year or so. Noticeably faster.
    dws-2watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    alphafoxalphafox Posts: 118member
    Tried playing overwatch in 13 I think, it was dismal. Maybe metal support will help but it says only 15% faster so probably not..
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Having issues running applications depending on OpenGL 2.1 (will not start), so no switch from vmware for me. 
  • Reply 9 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,358member
    Meanwhile, here am I trying to get Sheepshaver working in a VMWare Fusion VM running El Capitan so I can run the massive trove of Mac OS 7 through 9 software (actual I also have tons from the Mac Plus on but most wouldn't work without earlier ROMS)  I have stored on my Mac.  Why?  Because it's there!
    edited August 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,358member
    ElCapitan said:
    Having issues running applications depending on OpenGL 2.1 (will not start), so no switch from vmware for me. 
    I kind of like VMWare better for many reasons (and I have used both extensively).  I only just discovered they have a totally free version for Windows if you are none commercial called VMWare Player.  It runs Windows and Linux distros very well although ironically no Mac OS ... wait have I even tried ...?). I am kidding but it would make Hackintioshes easier lol.  Not that they are hard now.
    edited August 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,358member
    crowley said:
    Coincidentally, I was just thinking about possibly getting a hold of a virtualization app.  I seem to recall VMWare Fusion being more highly rated a little while ago, is that still the case?
    Not in my experience.  I used Fusion for several years before jumping over the Parallels with version 14.  I think Parallels runs far smoother.
    Parallels' Russian connection is always at the back of my mind.  Articles such as this always make me feel a wee bit uncomfortable, especially these days: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-a-digital-cold-war-with-russia-could-threaten-the-it-industry/
    edited August 13 dws-2
  • Reply 12 of 19
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,783administrator
    MacPro said:
    Meanwhile, here am I trying to get Sheepshaver working in a VMWare Fusion VM running El Capitan so I can run the massive trove of Mac OS 7 through 9 software (actual I also have tons from the Mac Plus on but most wouldn't work without earlier ROMS)  I have stored on my Mac.  Why?  Because it's there!
    The March 8 version of Sheepshaver supports Mojave natively.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 429member
    MacPro said:
    Parallels' Russian connection is always at the back of my mind.  Articles such as this always make me feel a wee bit uncomfortable, especially these days: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-a-digital-cold-war-with-russia-could-threaten-the-it-industry/
    Running Russian SW on your Chinese computer with an Israeli designed CPU.
    If one wanted to be paranoid, they would avoid the whole stack.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 14 of 19
    crowley said:
    Coincidentally, I was just thinking about possibly getting a hold of a virtualization app.  I seem to recall VMWare Fusion being more highly rated a little while ago, is that still the case?
    I'm interested to know as well. I'm a long-time VMWare Fusion user and haven't paid attention to how Parallels is doing these days.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    alphafox said:
    Tried playing overwatch in 13 I think, it was dismal. Maybe metal support will help but it says only 15% faster so probably not..
    Well there's a 15 day trial, so you can give it a go and let us know how you went. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    crowley said:
    Coincidentally, I was just thinking about possibly getting a hold of a virtualization app.  I seem to recall VMWare Fusion being more highly rated a little while ago, is that still the case?
    Personally in my experience Parallels trumps VMWare by miles. It’s not to say VMWare is a bad app but Parallels uses more system APIs and thus tends to run more apps.

    The move to Metal could be quite interesting if Apple does in fact move towards their own ARM processors in upcoming Macs as has been rumoured. Given that MacOS can use Metal for extra processing then the performance hit that’s plagued previous emulators wouldn’t be as bad.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,642member
    “...will be compatible with Catalina at launch.” That is, compatible at the launch of Catalina, not Parallels 15!

    Since I upgraded to MacOS Catalina, running my top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, I have not had access to my MacOS file system (including my virtual desktop) within Parallels 14 regardless of the client OS (Windows 10, Windows XP, Mint and MacOS Mojave). This is a know issue that has effectively rendered my Parallels virtual machines unusable. When I saw Parallels 15 had been released, I had high hopes this bug would be fixed. It has not. I have no doubt, though, this will be corrected by the time Catalina goes public. For the time being, don’t expect Parallels 15 to solve your problem if you’re running Catalina beta. Better yet, don’t make the mistake of switching to the highly buggy Catalina beta before its public release.
    You came here to share to went to the edge of the cliff and fell off all because you did not heading the warnings of beta software.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,358member
    MacPro said:
    Meanwhile, here am I trying to get Sheepshaver working in a VMWare Fusion VM running El Capitan so I can run the massive trove of Mac OS 7 through 9 software (actual I also have tons from the Mac Plus on but most wouldn't work without earlier ROMS)  I have stored on my Mac.  Why?  Because it's there!
    The March 8 version of Sheepshaver supports Mojave natively.
    Yes except for me.  I am wondering if my particular config is the issue.  Could multiple monitors be an issue?  I trying on a 2013 Mac Pro.  Grasping at straws here.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,358member
    davgreg said:
    MacPro said:
    Parallels' Russian connection is always at the back of my mind.  Articles such as this always make me feel a wee bit uncomfortable, especially these days: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-a-digital-cold-war-with-russia-could-threaten-the-it-industry/
    Running Russian SW on your Chinese computer with an Israeli designed CPU.
    If one wanted to be paranoid, they would avoid the whole stack.
    It's not paranoid to think the Russians in the Kremlin wish us harm, it's called sound reasoning based on evidence.  Those ties to the Kremlin worry me more than the rest of the stuff you quote, Kaspersky  just hit the news again.  https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/08/kaspersky-av-injected-unique-id-into-webpages-even-in-incognito-mode/
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