Parallels today announced that its Desktop for Mac virtualization software is available for purchase for $79.99, following the conclusion of a Beta program that generated more than 100,000 testers from 71 countries and has resulted in the current stable, high-performance version.
As a special incentive to new customers, the company will make the product available for $49.99 for 30 days following today’s announcement.
Parallels Desktop is the first solution for Intel processor-based Macs that enables users to run Windows XP – or any other operating system – simultaneously in isolated “virtual machines” directly on a Mac OS X desktop, giving them the ability to use Windows programs at the same time as their favorite Mac applications. This is different from Apple’s recently announced “Boot Camp” dual boot solution, in which users must work in either Windows XP or Mac OS X, and completely shut down one to access the other.
“Parallels Desktop enables Mac users to access Windows programs without giving up the functionality, power and usability of their Mac OS X desktops,” said Nick Dobrovolskiy, CEO of Parallels, in the press release. “We’ve broken through the barrier that previously kept Mac and Windows from effectively working together side-by-side, simultaneously, on one computer.”
Parallels near-native performance and rock-solid stability is driven by its hypervisor-powered virtualization engine, and full support for Intel Virtualization Technology, which is included in all new Mac Mini, iMac, and MacBook Pro computers.
“Using Intel’s Early Access Program, Parallels has innovatively used Intel Virtualization Technology on Intel dual-core processors, to empower the Apple community with the ability to drive productivity and flexibility via its powerful virtualization solution,” said Melissa Laird, general manager of Intel’s Global Developer Relations Division, in the release.
Important Features in Parallels Desktop for Mac:
• Run any version of Windows at the same time as Mac OS X at near-native speeds, without having to dual-boot or shut down their Mac desktop.
• Users can also run Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, or MS-DOS programs alongside Mac OS X applications.
• Safely share files and “cut and paste” data between Windows and Mac OS X programs.
• Expand a virtual machine to full-screen size on a primary display, or export and expand it on a secondary display.
• Reduce Windows 2000, 2003 and XP virtual machine hard drive size by 50 percent or more with Parallels Compressor technology. This tool, which retails for $179, is included free with each copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac.
In addition to its Mac product, the company offers Parallels Workstation for Windows and Linux powered machines. These versions are available for purchase at the same low price of $49.99 per license. The company is also developing server virtualization solutions. Parallels Server, due in mid-2006, is targeted at small- and medium-size businesses looking to maximize hardware resources and curb information technology (IT) costs. Parallels Enterprise Server is a high-end server virtualization solution designed to help large enterprises effectively virtualize and manage their significant server resources.
More info here.
Ina Fried reports for ZDNet, “A potential challenge for the start-up is that Apple may decide to offer, in addition to Boot Camp, a feature that acts more like Parallels in allowing Windows programs to run within the Mac OS. There has been speculation that Leopard might have such abilities. Parallels marketing manager Ben Rudolph said Parallels can’t spend its time worrying about what others might do. ‘All we do is virtualisation,’ he said. ‘Apple has got hundreds of different products. I believe we are going to have a faster, better solution regardless of what happens.'”
Full article here.
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