Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta5 for Mac OS X released with USB support and more

Parallels has released Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta5 for Mac OS X which allows users to use Windows, Linux and virtually any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X, enabling users to enjoy the comfort of their Mac OS X desktop while still being able to use critical applications from other OSes.

Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta5 for Mac OS X features:
• OS Support: Use any version of Windows (3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, 2000, NT, XP, 2003), any Linux distribution, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, or MS-DOS in secure virtual machines running alongside Mac OS X.
• Performance: Driven by full support for dual-core processors and Intel Virtualization Technology (included in almost every new Intel-powered Mac), virtual machines created using Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta5 offer near-native performance and rock-solid stability.
• Ease of Use: Download the program and install it with a single click. Build a virtual machine in seconds using helpful wizards. Configure virtual machines using a simple web-inspired interface.
• Works on any Intel-powered Mac: Any Intel Powered Macintosh running OS X 10.4.4 or higher is compatible with Parallels Workstation 2.1.

Beta5 includes:
• Introduced USB support. Connect your favorite USB devices directly to a virtual machine!
• Introduced shared folders. Share files between Mac OS X and any Windows XP or Windows 2003 guest virtual machine! Learn more about Shared Folders Support…
• Support for dynamic screen resolutions. When a guest OS is selected, a list of available screen resolutions is dynamically populated with primary OS resolutions.
• Fixed keyboard mapping problems
• Fixed mouse pointer lag problem
• Better sound support
• Fixed problems with sleeping/waking up the primary OS when a VM is running
• Introduced the ability to resize a guest when switching to fullscreen mode
• Added optional “transition cube” animation for transitioning to and from fullscreen mode
• Fixed several kernel panics
• Added default network adapter for bridged mode
• Sound lag fixed

More info and download link (15.2MB .dmg) here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Virtue for Parallels Workstation offers 3-D cube OS switching for Apple Macs – April 24, 2006
Parallels releases VM Compactor 1.0 Beta – April 21, 2006
Washington Times: Parallels Workstation 2.1 ran Windows XP ‘quite nicely’ on an Apple Macintosh – April 18, 2006
Parallels Workstation 2.1b4 released; run Mac OS X, Windows & Linux concurrently on Intel-based Macs – April 18, 2006
Apple’s Boot Camp vs. Parallels Workstation for running Windows on Intel-based Macs – April 14, 2006
Video of Parallels running Windows XP on Mac OS X showing real time clock – April 11, 2006
Video of Parallels running Windows XP on Mac OS X – April 07, 2006
Parallels releases first virtualization solution for Intel-powered Apple Intel-based Macs – April 06, 2006
Parallels to intro virtualization software for Intel-based Macs – April 04, 2006


  1. Beta5. They’re getting close to v1.0. From the list of fixes and additions they are moving fast as well.

    Apple is going to have to buy this firm, if only to keep MSFT hands off of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple wasn’t helping them with this project.

  2. Gee, Mr. Peabody, Parallelshas been releasing a new beta version of their software every couple of days ever since BootCamp. Do you think some Mac users might care?

    Even if you are a talking dog, you’re still not that smart.

  3. Gregg: “Apple is going to have to buy this firm, if only to keep MSFT hands off of it.”

    I was thinking the same thing. I’m also surprised that the MBU hasn’t announced the demise of VPC.

  4. These guys are really rocking!

    Of course they are rushing hard because Apple is most likely going to introduce all these abilities in the next version of the OS. They can do a better job of marketing than Parallels can.

    I smell a lawsuit brewing like bad coffee because I don’t Steve will allow another comapny to dictate what goes on with his OS and others on Mac’s.

    And to Mr. Peabody

    It’s vital that the “other OS’s” on Mac’s stay in the light, it’s a totally new beginging.

    Instead of buying one computer to run one operating system at a time, now you can buy one computer to run multiple operating systems and their programs at the same time under Mac OS X.

    This is very exciting, Apple is embracing a “accept, absorb and extiguish” policy much like Microsoft does, except this time Microsoft is the victim!

    Of course supposely Vista is embrace the virtualization concept as well, but they can’t do Mac OS X and most likely Vista won’t be able to run under Mac OS X, thus “Boot Camp” was created by Apple to make sure it could.

  5. Andy, don’t be sad. Parallels is good news for IT professionals like me who use a Mac (switched in 2004) but need Windows for one or two critical applications that don’t exist on Mac. This will allow me to continue to use my Mac OS X and purchase Mac OS X software without worrying about the need to keep a Windows box around for two applications I use only for business. I was starting to wonder if I made the right choice switching because it was hard dealing with not being able to run those two applications. And no, they cannot be replaced by anything in the open source community. At any rate, the Intel Macs, Boot Camp and products like Parallels ensure that I will remain a Mac OS X faithful because I can use the same hardware to handle those two business applications whenever I need them and at much faster performance than VPC on PowerPC.

    It’s all good for Mac OS X Andy. Don’t fear. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. You Apple fan-boy types need to stop viewing any mention of Windows as some kind of threat to your manhood. Methinks you do complain too much. If you don’t need Windows, great, all power to you. But many people do, for a whole variety of reasons. The ability to run Windows (or Linux) in a window, under MacOS, at near native speeds with full hardware support is bloody exciting. Embrace the technology. Don’t be defensive.

  7. This is great news for me!! I switched to a mac back in 2001, but I still need windows as I am a web developer who develops in and sql server.

    now i could run visual studio and sql enterprise manager and IIS on a virtual windows machine with networked folders, and use everything else on my mac like photoshop, dreamweaver, etc.

  8. andy et al,

    the ability to run windows is curiosity to most Mac users. Many people need it to use a Windows app, but for most of us the excitement of running Parallels and Boot Camp is no more than any other new application. That is what Windows has become with virtualisation – an application enabler. I remember getting excited with MAME (game emulator), the Apple II emulator, Connectix VGS (PSOne emulator) and VPC.

    Once we’ve all had our fun tinkering we’ll go back to our Macs full-time again. Parallels has convinced me of this. It is soooo easy to launch Parallels, cube-screen to Windows, run an app at decent speed, then quit. Parallels is improving enormously each week, so I expect it will be very mature by the time Leopard is here and will be used like a fast VPC and the rest of us will ignore it 95% of the time. Parallels is so fast (except in graphics) and convenient that I imagine Boot Camp will be relegated to mainly gamers and testers.

  9. How can some people be saddened by being given alternatives?

    Anybody who does not see all this as positive is a hypocrite.

    Nobody wants to use Windows. There was simply in many cases no alternative. Now there is.

    What is the negative? Mac users are not going to switch to Windows. And anyone who thinks so is a moron. All those who would have gone to Windows did so long ago. Mac marketshare has no where to go but up.

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