Parallels 3.0 supports 3D games, 'SmartSelect'

Parallels on Thursday announced Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac. This new version supports 3D gaming and adds a new feature called SmartSelect.

Parallels Desktop enables Intel-based Mac users to run Windows on their Mac at the same time as Mac OS X — no reboot is required, unlike with Boot Camp, Apple’s own software to run Windows on Mac OS X. The software costs $79.99, and the 3.0 version will be available for a $49.99 upgrade fee. Parallels is also offering a reduced price for the upgrade for $39.99 now through June 6, 2007.

New to this release is a feature called “SmartSelect.” SmartSelect is billed as “an integration tool” that lets you open up any file from Windows or Mac OS X using an application from either operating system. It’s designed to dovetail with the “Coherence” integration software in the currently shipping version of Parallels that enables users to open Windows applications directly from Mac OS X.

Up to now, Parallels hasn’t supported 3D graphics acceleration, which has made it unsuitable for gaming. New in this release is 3D support for OpenGL and DirectX graphics software, which enables users to run Windows games from inside Parallels without having to reboot.

“Snapshots” help you to store Parallels’ “virtual machine” state, storing them at custom intervals. You can roll back to a previous state as needed, and control levels of integration and isolation using the VM Sentry. You can also make your virtual machine read-only to further protect it. Parallels is also including a six-month trial of virus and spyware protection.

Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac is presently at its “final candidate” development milestone and is being privately tested. The final release of Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac is expected within the next several weeks.

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