Parallels 8 now available with 30% faster 3D graphics, 25% faster Windows startup

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac officially launched to the public on Tuesday, offering new features like support for Apple's Retina display MacBook Pro, along with improved performance and faster startup times.

The new Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac promises up to 30 percent faster 3D graphics compared to previous versions. In addition, users will be able to stop, start and resume Windows on their Mac more quickly, with boot times of the operating system improved by as much as 25 percent.

Parallels 8 allows Mac owners to run almost any operating system on their computers. The latest version has been optimized to work with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple's latest Mac operating system.

The software launched for existing Parallels users last week, but as of Tuesday it is now publicly available for all to purchase. Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac costs $79.99 for new customers, $39.99 for students, and $49.99 for owners of previous versions. A free trial is also available, as well as the $99.99 "Switch to Mac Edition" for current Windows users.

Alternatively, customers in the market for a new Mac can get Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac for free when purchasing their Mac of choice from Apple authorized reseller B&H Photo. To take advantage of the offer, shoppers need to simply click the link on B&H's Mac product pages that says "Click Here To Select your Choice of FREE Software" (pictured below) and then select Parallels 8 for $0.00. Customers also have the option of receiving a free copy of File Maker Bento 4 instead of Parallels. B&H's discounted Mac pricing can be seen every day in AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide.

Parallels Deal

Parallels 8 takes advantage of features in Mountain Lion and applies them to Windows programs, like support for Launchpad, Dictation, Notification Center and Mission Control. Users can also drag and drop files from the desktop onto dock icons for Windows applications like Outlook.

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


Windows applications can also be added to the Launchpad in Mountain Lion, allowing users to quickly launch the Mac and Windows software they use the most.

A new Parallels Mobile App also allows users to copy and paste, enjoy audio, and access their Mac and Windows programs with an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

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


With Parallels 8, 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.

The virtualization software also features seamless trackpad gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom, swiping between full-screen apps and two-finger scrolling, which are now supported on the Windows side. Parallels 8 also features Bluetooth sharing and VM resource management assets.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    No one can say they aren't pushing the envelope with clever and new features, unfortunately I find it's more prone to crash than VMWare Fusion and just don't care for their business tactics.
  • Reply 2 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    No one can say they aren't pushing the envelope with clever and new features, unfortunately I find it's more prone to crash than VMWare Fusion and just don't care for their business tactics.


     


    Could you please give an example of those business tactics you apparently don't like - was just thinking about buying, but now I feel there's at least something more I should know. Thanks in advance!

  • Reply 3 of 28
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member


    I just dislike their forced upgrade. They obsolete old software that isn't even two years old all to get some supposed tweak that is of no importance, and questionable gains in speed. If the gains posted since v2 were true, the VM's would be running faster than the real deal at this point.


     


    They dropped support for P6 way too soon (1 Year and 10 Months). I was left in this boat with P7. I skipped the upgrade since it again offered nothing of value and boasted claims of the typical 30% increase in performance for some obscure function in Windows. Meanwhile, the Parallels folks never updated P6 when Lion was released to use 64 bit kext's, even knowing Mountain Lion would be the last to support 32 bit for many months prior to P7's release. They then tried to claim ML was 'radically different'. It's no better than a pay to play scheme. I wasn't the only one more than upset about this:


     


    http://forum.parallels.com/showthread.php?t=261103



    Virtualbox is cheaper in that it's free and serves my purposes.

  • Reply 4 of 28
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    djrumpy wrote: »
    I just dislike their forced upgrade. They obsolete old software that isn't even two years old all to get some supposed tweak that is of no importance, and questionable gains in speed.

    How does that force you to upgrade? They come out with a new version every year or so - no one is making you upgrade.
    djrumpy wrote: »
    If the gains posted since v2 were true, the VM's would be running faster than the real deal at this point.

    Where have you been for the past 20 years? EVERY computer software company hypes their product.
    djrumpy wrote: »
    They dropped support for P6 way too soon (1 Year and 10 Months). I was left in this boat with P7. I skipped the upgrade since it again offered nothing of value and boasted claims of the typical 30% increase in performance for some obscure function in Windows. Meanwhile, the Parallels folks never updated P6 when Lion was released to use 64 bit kext's, even knowing Mountain Lion would be the last to support 32 bit for many months prior to P7's release. They then tried to claim ML was 'radically different'. It's no better than a pay to play scheme. I wasn't the only one more than upset about this:

    http://forum.parallels.com/showthread.php?t=261103

    So don't buy the upgrade. Problem solved.

    Besides, my head is spinning from trying to follow your complaint. On one hand, you criticize them for upgrading too frequently, and then you spin around and criticize them for not upgrading soon enough.

    Oh, I get it - you want unlimited free upgrades for no matter how long you might use the software. Not realistic.

    djrumpy wrote: »
    Virtualbox is cheaper in that it's free and serves my purposes.

    And it has some very serious deficiencies. For example, if you want to run Boot Camp on your computer, Virtualbox won't recognize the Boot Camp disk - so you need TWO Windows drives on your computer (which is especially problematic if you're using a smaller drive like an SSD). You probably also need to buy two Windows licenses - which wipes out the savings from using Virtualbox.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member


    I too use VMWare .. it plus Win7 fires up in just 16 seconds on the 13" MBAir (with ML). It does everything I have it for (running ChemBioOffice and opening oddball windas-only files) without crashing or complaining. Parallels I haven't tried coz I have no need to (see previous sentence). The VMWare people don't hassle you with frequent updates but they're there when needed (e.g. v 4.1.3 for ML the day it came out). 

  • Reply 6 of 28
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    How does that force you to upgrade? They come out with a new version every year or so - no one is making you upgrade.

    Where have you been for the past 20 years? EVERY computer software company hypes their product.

    So don't buy the upgrade. Problem solved.

    Besides, my head is spinning from trying to follow your complaint. On one hand, you criticize them for upgrading too frequently, and then you spin around and criticize them for not upgrading soon enough.

    Oh, I get it - you want unlimited free upgrades for no matter how long you might use the software. Not realistic.

    And it has some very serious deficiencies. For example, if you want to run Boot Camp on your computer, Virtualbox won't recognize the Boot Camp disk - so you need TWO Windows drives on your computer (which is especially problematic if you're using a smaller drive like an SSD). You probably also need to buy two Windows licenses - which wipes out the savings from using Virtualbox.


    Except that it's not that simple. If I want to keep my primary OS updated, then I am forced to upgrade Parallels. P6 will not launch on Mountain Lion due to it's use of 32 bit KEXT's. Those started going by the wayside as early as Snow Leopard, many years ago yet Parallels continued to use them even through Parallels 7.



    And your smart ass trolling comments aside, I don't expect 'free' upgrades for endless years. I expect software that wasn't 2 years old to offer a cheap upgrade path. The price for the so called 'upgrade' is the same price that you pay for the full version of Fusion, and more than twice what you pay for the entire OS X operating system. I don't consider that reasonable.

  • Reply 7 of 28
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    nova development is to parallels updates as intuit is to quicken updates ...
  • Reply 8 of 28


    I have both - i used to switch frequently - whatever worked best for the myriad of apps i stil have to run under windows. Seems they both do a similar upgrade policy - but as several posters have pointed out - you are not forced - i still have an old macbook with Vmware 4 something 


    as for which is quickest - depends upon what you are doing. When I run some weird networking stuff - I occasionally run my test program on one, and use the mac and the other virtual machine to test packets, and run a client.


    IMHO I am glad they both exist, are similar in performance - keeps the two companies in competition I just upgraded both - and its nice to see them handle Retina..

  • Reply 9 of 28
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member


    Parallel is feature rich but error prone while Fusion tends to go with Stable release. At least that is my experience with last versions.

  • Reply 10 of 28
    kpomkpom Posts: 618member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    How does that force you to upgrade? They come out with a new version every year or so - no one is making you upgrade.

    Where have you been for the past 20 years? EVERY computer software company hypes their product.

    So don't buy the upgrade. Problem solved.

    Besides, my head is spinning from trying to follow your complaint. On one hand, you criticize them for upgrading too frequently, and then you spin around and criticize them for not upgrading soon enough.

    Oh, I get it - you want unlimited free upgrades for no matter how long you might use the software. Not realistic.

     


     


    No, but I think it is unrealistic for Parallels (and VMWare, for that matter), to expect people to upgrade every year or even every other year for $50 when the upgrades are relatively modest. Using new OS versions from Apple essentially to force paid upgrades when other applications work with patches rubs people the wrong way. Likely a simple patch could keep Parallels 6 working with Mountain Lion, since a simple patch kept Parallels 7 working.


     


    Plus, both VMWare and Parallels often treat new customers and switchers better off than existing customers. Last year, VMWare charged $10 less for people to switch from Parallels than to upgrade from VMWare 3. This year they are doing a better job supporting owners of older versions, but it is still annoying.

  • Reply 11 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    I have used both since day one and must say I just like VMWare better and it is for a whole host of small reasons. They are also a very long running company with a bucket load of experience.

    I run OS X 10.8 Server in a VMware and it is rock solid as a server. There are one or two glitches in running actual software in the VM other than the server but as I have little need for that I can live with them. Hopefully VMWare will be sending out some minor updates for glitches soon, assuming it isn't unique to my set up of course. The problem I see is certain Apple apps fail to render when running in the VM of 10.8.1 while running 10.8.x on the mothership (I have 10.8.2 dev version), one for example is iBook Author. Everything is working fine it's just the pages appear blank.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    kpom wrote: »
    No, but I think it is unrealistic for Parallels (and VMWare, for that matter), to expect people to upgrade every year or even every other year for $50 when the upgrades are relatively modest. Using new OS versions from Apple essentially to force paid upgrades when other applications work with patches rubs people the wrong way. Likely a simple patch could keep Parallels 6 working with Mountain Lion, since a simple patch kept Parallels 7 working.

    Plus, both VMWare and Parallels often treat new customers and switchers better off than existing customers. Last year, VMWare charged $10 less for people to switch from Parallels than to upgrade from VMWare 3. This year they are doing a better job supporting owners of older versions, but it is still annoying.

    At the end of the day these companies have to make a living and pay staff for the year between upgrades so I don't think between $20 - $50 is too much to ask for a product upgrade with two caveats. One is you don't have to upgrade, i.e. the version you have will still work (assuming it is fairly recent and Apple haven't broken something with a new OS version ... then that's a whole other story*) and secondly I agree with you, that new customers are not able to get a better deal than a loyal, existing customer. That sucks ...

    * If the software breaks due to an Apple OS update IMHO and as an former CEO of a software company, it is the incumbent on the software company to update a product to work with a new Apple OS free of charge (move from PPC to Intel being a possible exception). As I say that's just my feelings having been in the seat that decides these things.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    djrumpy wrote: »
    Except that it's not that simple. If I want to keep my primary OS updated, then I am forced to upgrade Parallels. P6 will not launch on Mountain Lion due to it's use of 32 bit KEXT's. Those started going by the wayside as early as Snow Leopard, many years ago yet Parallels continued to use them even through Parallels 7.


    And your smart ass trolling comments aside, I don't expect 'free' upgrades for endless years. I expect software that wasn't 2 years old to offer a cheap upgrade path. The price for the so called 'upgrade' is the same price that you pay for the full version of Fusion, and more than twice what you pay for the entire OS X operating system. I don't consider that reasonable.

    It's simple. If it doesn't suit your needs, don't buy it.

    But stop arguing that your free software is automatically better than software that others might prefer. As I pointed out, that's not always the case.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    It's simple. If it doesn't suit your needs, don't buy it.

    But stop arguing that your free software is automatically better than software that others might prefer. As I pointed out, that's not always the case.


     


    Trolling again. I never said the free software is better than others. Read my post. It's on this same page, and not overly difficult to find, no? I said it meets my needs.


     


    I no longer buy Parallels, so that's a non-issue. That's my right as a now former customer. They treated their customers poorly, and word of mouth is important.

  • Reply 15 of 28
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,722member


    And 20%* more ads on startup!


     


    /sarcasm


     


    *Random number pulled out of thin air...

  • Reply 16 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kcartesius View Post


     


    Could you please give an example of those business tactics you apparently don't like - was just thinking about buying, but now I feel there's at least something more I should know. Thanks in advance!



     


     


    The $50 yearly upgrade fee for one.

  • Reply 17 of 28


    most companies offer an inexpensive upgrade if you recently purchased their product.


    not parallels.  they want full upgrade price no matter what, every year it seems.


     


    When mountain lion came out, every other software worked with it, or had a FREE upgrade...except parallels.  Parallels forced you to upgrade for $50 because of a $20 OS upgrade?  It doesn't make sense and it isn't fair to loyal customers that bought the product a few weeks too early.


     


    True you aren't forced to upgrade but...once you upgrade the OS...you actually are forced - the old parallels won't work.


     


    Parallels in my opinion is the greediest software company that I know of.


     


    And I'm a capitalist!!!!


     


    PARALLELS - YOU SUCK!!!!!!

  • Reply 18 of 28


    Let's get this right.  I use Parallels 7 on a Mac with Mountain Lion very successfully.  You do not have to upgrade.  I did pay for the upgrade to Parallels 8 and found it to be noticeably faster than 7, so I will keep it and upgrade other machines.  The speed upgrades from year to year vary in their importance, but I find 8 to be significantly faster than 7.


     


    I have used Parallels and VMware as long as each became available for the Mac, but found that Parallels to be consistently faster, so I have left VMware behind.  From time to time, there have been bugs in new versions of Parallels and they are not at all responsive to emails, but they have always brought out updates correcting the problem.  I have heard that Parallels is less stable than VMware, but that has never been my experience.  Virtualbox works fine, but is not as fast as Parallels, so I am willing to pay the money. 


     


    I agree that Parallels price for upgrades is a bit high, but you can live without the upgrades quite well.  Same goes for Mac OS upgrades.  If you want the speed, you pay the price.

     

  • Reply 19 of 28


    i had parallels 6, which couldn't run once I upgraded to ML. contacted CS and they directed me to upgrade to P7 for USD 40 3 months ago. I'm glad I didn't and no way am I gonna get parallels 8

  • Reply 20 of 28


    I've got P6 and it quit working with ML as stated by many others.  The forced upgrade by Parallels for no real apparent reason is exactly why I'm not purchasing P8.  I started out with VMWare, switched to Parallels for v5, and then bought version 6 thinking that I would get a decent speed bump.  When the speed didn't feel anything like what was advertised I held off on P7 since there were really no new features worth having (that I needed).  I would consider buying P8 for the speed upgrade from 6 and the expected Windows 8 compatibility if I actually thought that P8 would work on OSX 10.9, but I've lost confidence that they won't try and force another $50 out of me when Apple bumps their OS version.


     


    If you provide functionality that is worth spending the upgrade money for I'll happily upgrade, but if you just don't want to provide minimal support for a product that isn't that old and use a minor OS upgrade as a reason to force me to update then that's exactly what I'll do.  I'll update to VMWare.

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