Beta3 of Parallels Desktop for Mac available
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Beta3 of Parallels Desktop for Mac available

There's nothing really “new” in this update, but it polishes up several of the features introduced in Beta1 and Beta2, Benjamin Rudolph of Parallels told Macsimum News. In this update, you’ll find that Coherence is much smoother, and that all windows, even ones with rounded corners or those with unusual shapes (like Windows Media Player) display correctly, he says. USB also gets better with support for a broader range of devices, including things like Garmin GPS units, etc.

Parallels Desktop lets Mactel users run Windows XP – or just about any other operating system – simultaneously in isolated "virtual machines" directly on a Mac OS X desktop, offering the ability to use Windows programs at the same time as their favorite Mac applications. This is different from Apple's Boot Camp dual boot solution, in which users can boot a Mactel to run in either Windows XP or Mac OS X, and must completely shut down one to access the other.

Parallels Desktop for Mac includes Parallels Compressor, a disk management tool that can purportedly compress virtual hard drives by 50 percent or more.  This is a very useful tool, especially if you're working on a laptop with a relatively small hard drive, Rudolph says. Compressor Server -- which has a retail price of US$179.99 and is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and 2003 -- is the specific version included with Desktop.

Parallels Desktop's "near native" performance and stability is driven by its "hypervisor-powered virtualization engine" and support for Intel Virtualization Technology, which is included in all new Mac Mini, iMac, and MacBook Pro computers, said Parallels CEO Nick Dobrovolskiy. You can share files and "cut and paste" data between Mac OS X and Window apps.

 
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