Parallels has released an updated version of Parallels Desktop, their virtualization software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows and other x86-compatible operating systems at the same time as Mac OS X. The update is free for registered users; Parallels Desktop for Macintosh costs $79.99.
With Parallels Desktop, you don’t need to install Apple’s Boot Camp beta software to run Windows, and don’t need to reboot your Mac. The software utilizes virtual machine technology in the Intel microprocessor found in newer Macs in order to run separate operating systems and applications within a window on your Mac OS X desktop.
New to this release is support for Apple’s dual Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro. Also new in this release is provisional support for Apple’s forthcoming Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard” operating system, due out next spring (but now in the hands of developers as a preview release, seeded at last month’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco).
Parallels has also added what they call “experimental” guest OS support for Windows Vista Beta. Windows Vista is Microsoft’s next-generation operating system, now available as a beta release and due out as a general release early next year.
Other changes include a fix for Solaris, improved Parallels Tools package, full support for OpenBSD 3.8, and support for G4U hard disk cloning.
Parallels describes this as an “Update Release Candidate” (RC) for Parallels Desktop for the Mac, so there may be some final changes before the update is “official.”
A 15-day trial version is available for download.