Parallels Desktop 6… After All The Pain, It’s A Worthy Upgrade

Despite my problems with getting Parallels Desktop 6, I’ve played with it for a few days and I’ve got some opinions. Parallels claims that there are “over 80 new features” in this version. I’ll take their word for it. I think the ones that people will care about are these ones:

  • An all-new 64-bit engine
  • 5.1 Surround Sound support
  • Improved network, hard drive and Transporter performance
  • Windows program Spotlight integration
  • Faster Windows launch time
  • Enhanced 3D graphics that are 40% better than previous versions

Let’s face it. When it comes to the top item on that list, Parallels is a bit late to the party when it comes to 64-bit support. VMWare did that almost a year ago. Having said that I can say that Windows virtual machines start up faster. Things inside my virtual machines seemed significantly snappier as well. So I guess that the 64-bit support does make a difference. Something that I did notice is that you can now print straight from the virtual machine without having to set up a printer first, just like in Microsoft RDP. That’s another welcome feature.

Something that is worth mentioning is that if you have a shiny iDevice such as an iPad, an iPhone, or iPod Touch, Parallels has a free Mobile App that allows you to to take control of your Parallels Desktop for Mac virtual machines using the iDevice of your choice. You can remotely start, stop, and reset virtual machines from afar. Since I don’t have a shiny iDevice, I couldn’t try this. But it sounds interesting.

All my usual tests like trying out games to using my MobiKEY produced no surprises. That’s a good thing.

So what’s the bottom line? If you’ve got Parallels Desktop 5, it’s worth upgrading. If you are looking for a product to run Windows on your Mac, check out the free trial of Parallels Desktop 6. I think you’ll find that it’s worth purchasing.

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