Although Parallels Inc. is yet to issue a formal announcement via its press room, the company has revealed the availability of Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac OS X. The new version of the virtualization program permits users to install Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 in three easy steps, and boasts Snow Leopard optimizations, among the dozens of enhancements mentioned on the official Parallels website.
“Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac lets you seamlessly run Windows and Mac OS X side-by-side, drag-and-drop your files between operating systems, and run Windows software on your Apple computer without rebooting,” Parallels Inc. proudly states. “With more than 70 new, exciting features and enhancements, Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac is faster, smarter and more powerful than ever — helping you run Windows programs and devices seamlessly on your Mac,” the company adds.
Parallels claims the new version is faster, which allows users to run Windows 7 with Aero while also enjoying the benefits of Snow Leopard. The new Parallels Desktop is allegedly smarter too, although abilities like “share files between Mac and Windows,” “use Windows apps like Mac apps,” and “connect your favorite USB devices” have long been present in Parallels Desktop. The “More Powerful” part is indeed an accurate listing, with Parallels mentioning DirectX 9.0c/9Ex with Shader Model 3, perfect for games and graphics-intensive apps.
The new version of Parallels Desktop also adds support for Multi-Touch trackpad gestures in Windows applications and, according to the company, full support for Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Server, eight virtual CPUs and 64-bit Windows. Buyers also receive $175 in bonus software from Parallels: Kaspersky (antivirus app – Windows is vulnerable even on a Mac), and Acronis True Image and Acronis Disk Director (backup and management solutions).