Parallels is making installation of the Windows operating system on a Mac even easier than installation on a PC with the introduction of the Parallels Installation Assistant. The software comes included as part of Parallels Desktop for Mac, the fastest, most powerful solution for running PC operating systems at the same time as OS X – without re-booting – on any Intel-powered Mac.
The Installation Assistant provides a powerful, easy to use “Express Windows OS Installation Mode” for Windows XP and Windows Vista that completely automates the virtual machine setup and Windows installation processes. Users select which Windows version they plan to use, enter their name, company information and Windows activation key, and then click “finish” to begin installing Windows in a pre-designed virtual machine that has been optimized for their version of Windows. From that point on, installation is completely automated and requires no user interaction; users do not need to enter any additional information, select settings, or answer any potentially confusing technical questions posed by Windows during installation.
After Windows installation is complete, the Installation Assistant automatically installs Parallels Tools, a free set of useful add-ons that improve networking, video, and sound support, syncs mouse activity and OS system clocks, and enables cutting, copying and pasting of data, as well as and file sharing, between Windows and OS X.
The Installation Assistant also provides easy setup for other versions of Windows, plus any Linux distribution, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, and MS-DOS. Users can select from two choices: “Typical OS Installation” mode creates a standard, optimized virtual machine for the selected guest operating system; and “Custom OS Installation” which helps users build and configure a custom-designed virtual machine that meets their exact specifications.
In addition to the Installation Assistant, the new build of Parallels Desktop for Mac offers Shared Networking, a powerful new networking mode that lets users seamlessly connect their virtual machines to the internet via a cable modem, LAN, broadband card, Wi-Fi connection, or dial-up modem, without any manual network reconfiguration. Because Shared Networking enables multiple IP addresses to appear as one IP address on a network, it enables users working with internet connections like DSL or Cable modems that are only configured for use with a single IP address to easily connect their virtual machines to the internet. This same feature also effectively hides virtual machines from the outside world, making them far less likely to be the victim of a hacker attack.
“Our easy-to-use, automated installation and networking tools make running Parallels Desktop for Mac an even more attractive option for running Windows, especially for non-technical users who simply want to get Windows up and running and connected to the internet with as little hassle and headache as possible,” said Benjamin Rudolph, Marketing Manager, Parallels, in the press release. “We are delivering on our promise of delivering powerful technology that is simple to use for anyone, even the most non-technical users.”
Existing Parallels Desktop for Mac users with auto-update enabled will receive the Installation Assistant and Shared Networking feature automatically. Users who do not have auto-update enabled can manually download them by clicking “Check for Updates” in the “Help” tab of the application menu bar, or download them in a single package directly from the Parallels Download Center at http://www.parallels.com/en/download/desktop/. Upgrading Parallels Desktop for Mac does not require a re-install of any guest operating systems or any applications. After upgrading, users should re-install Parallels Tools.
New users are welcome to download and evaluate a free 15-day trial version of Parallels Desktop for Mac at http://www.parallels.com/en/download/desktop/
Full versions of the product can be purchased at http://www.parallels.com/en/buyonline/ or in any Apple Store, Staples, Office Depot, Micro Center, Fry’s Electronics, or CompUSA location. The Suggested Retail Price for Parallels Desktop remains $79.99.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Barry P.” for the heads up.]
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