Parallels has announced the release of Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac computers, which is a new version of the company’s award-winning software that enables Mac users to run Windows, Linux and any other operating system simultaneously as Mac OS X on a single Mac desktop, without the need for rebooting.
In the first week of June 2006 Parallels had unveiled the Release Candidate for Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0. The final version now introduces over 50 new features and improvements that make running Windows and Mac software at the same time on a single Intel-based Mac easier than ever.
The final version of Desktop for Mac 3.0 is anchored by SmartSelect, which is a powerful feature that allows users to use any OS X or Windows application to open any file type, regardless of whether that file is in the Mac or Windows desktop. Thus, users can select the right application to open a file each time via right click, or they can set a default application association to ensure that a given file type always opens in a specific application.
For instance, if a user sets Word for Windows to be the default application to work with .doc, .rtf and .txt files, then they could simply click a file with that extension in either OS and instantly open the file in Word for Windows.
Other major improvements, enhancements and features of Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 include:
Snapshots: An important new security and backup tool that makes Parallels virtual machines “bulletproof”. Snapshots instantly save the state of a virtual machine’s memory, settings and hard disk, and revert back to that instant at any time. This gives users the freedom to make changes, try beta software, and explore the internet without the risk of corrupting their virtual machine. If a mishap occurs, the user can revert back to a VM snapshot with a single click, erasing all changes – including major system errors – that happened after the snapshot was taken. A built-in, map-inspired Snapshot Manager helps users manage multiple snapshots.
Security Manager: A built in management tool that helps users customize the level of interaction between Windows and OS X, including how and when files can be shared between OSes, if “drag and drop” is enabled or disabled, and when hard disks and devices are mounted and accessible.
Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics: Strong support for OpenGL and DirectX brings Windows’ vast library of 3D-intensive applications to the Mac. Without leaving their Mac desktop, users can play popular Windows-only 3D games such as Quake, Half-Life 2, and World of Warcraft, as well as work with complex Windows-only 3D CAD programs.
Parallels Explorer: Without launching Windows, users can view and modify the contents of their Windows virtual hard drive using Parallels Explorer, which is included as a free, stand-alone tool with every copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0. Users can drag files to and from the virtual hard drive, move or re-name existing files and create new folders.
Vista Boot Camp Support: Existing Windows Vista Boot Camp partitions, as well as Windows XP Boot Camp partitions can be run in a Parallels virtual machine. Users can switch between running Windows in Parallels Desktop and Boot Camp as often as they would like.
Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 software is available for a price of $79.99. New users can test a free, fully-functional copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac for a period of 15 days.