Parallels Workstation marches on with beta 6 release

Boot Camp isn’t the only way to get Windows running on your Intel-based Mac — Parallels Workstation provides another method of doing it that doesn’t require you to reboot your computer. The developers of Parallels Workstation have recently released beta 6 of their still-in-development product.

Leveraging virtualization technology built into the Intel chips found in Apple’s new Macs, Parallels Workstation runs as a “virtual machine” — faster than an emulator, but still a bit slower than the true, native implementation that Apple’s Boot Camp software offers. It runs inside of a window in Mac OS X.

Parallels Workstation is helpful for Mac users who need to run a Windows application but don’t require OpenGL or DirectX-accelerated 3D graphics. It’s also more flexible than Boot Camp, support many different X86-compatible operating systems instead of just Windows XP, including various implementations of Linux. Available for beta download now for a 30-day free trial if you sign up for a license key, Parallels Workstation will cost $49.99 when it’s released.

Major changes in this release include improved reliability with less kernel panics; more support for USB devices; shared folder fixes recommended for everyone running Windows 2000, XP or 2003; host-only networking support that makes Parallels Workstation’s virtual network adapter visible to Mac OS X; custom resolution support; a new Image Tool and Autoupdate function and more.

More changes have been made as well; you can read up on them in the discussion forum on Parallels’ Web site.

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