Parallels Desktop 10 is here : Being locked into one software ecosystem is the cruel fate that awaits anyone who loves technology. On our desktops and smartphones, we build prisons with companies who want our complete fealty to their apps and services.
Luckily, tools exist to help liberate us from these self-imposed bonds and Parallels, a company that’s been in the software business for 14 years, may have made it as easy and efficient as ever.
With Parallels Desktop 10 installed on your Mac, you won’t just be able to run Windows on a “virtual machine” within your Mac, you’ll be able to do it significantly faster then previous generations. Windows documents open 48% faster, and Office 2013 apps launch 50% faster, the company claims. At the same time, battery life is extended up to 30%, and the Windows “machine” uses 10% less memory.
The new version also further erases the line between OS X and Windows with a few new tricks: Windows apps are automatically added to the Mac’s Launchpad, and you can even use the Windows 8.1 Start screen as the Launchpad. Parallels enables sharing from Windows apps to any of the user’s Internet accounts on the Mac side.
As with previous versions of Parallels, all your Windows apps appear in your Mac’s launcher, just with the red Parallels icon to show they’re not native to the Mac.
Of course, Parallels Desktop 10 supports OS X Yosemite (scheduled for release “in the fall,” according to Apple), and brings some of its features to Windows apps, including the ability to save to iCloud Drive, and share via iMessage.
The software supports older versions of OS X back to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. You can create more than one virtual machine, letting you run multiple versions of Windows and even Android on the same hardware — very handy for developers.
Parallels Desktop 10 is available for download today for all current Parallels 8 or 9 owners starting at $50. If you’re new to Parallels, you’ll have to wait until August 26th—and also pay $80—to get your hands on the team’s latest and greatest. Parallels also offers student discounts for $40.
The usefulness, or even necessity, of an application like Parallels really depends on what you’ll need it for, but Parallels contends that the program works best for people who just want their apps, regardless of operating systems, hardware differences, or other walled gardens.
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