Yesterday, Parallels unveiled Parallels Desktop 4.0. The virtualisation tool for the Mac. Parallels allows you to run several operating systems ‘on top’ of Mac OS X, similar to VMware, Qemu, and other similar tools. Version 4.0 comes packed with new features and improvements.
People using Parallels to virtualise Windows will see a boost in 3D graphics performance thanks to support for DirectX 9.0, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2.0. The new Adaptive Hypervisor automatically shifts system resources around between the host and client operating systems to optimise performance, while you may allocate 8GB of RAM and up to an 8-way CPU to Parallels. The company claims a 50% performance boost over previous versions.
The company also did some visual tweaks, such as adding a feature called Modality, which – as far as I understand from Parallels’ website – means you can get an overview of all your virtual machines using Expose. Coherence has been updated as well, so that Windows programs are added to the Mac OS X dock when you switch to Coherence mode. You can also manage your VMs from your iPhone.
Verson 4.0 is available now for USD 79.99, with upgrades USD 39.99. Users who purchased version 3.0 on or after 1 September 2008 are eligible for a free upgrade.
I’m having a bad time with it. Everything has become more gimmicky, and less stable.
Upgrading a Virtual Machine masks the VM with a stupid Windows-installer like splash screen, so you can’t see if something on your screen is interfering with the install (Like TeaTimer).
The upgrade failed for me, and I had to install manually, which was fraught with its own problems, as now after a minute of using the VM, the mouse and keyboard stop working and the only way I could get the rest of the drivers installed was to plug in a USB keyboard and pipe it into the VM.
Now my perfectly stable 3.0 VM is an unusable 4.0 VM, and unless there’s a patch soon, I’m going to have to time machine my way back to 3.0.
I think the difference between Fusion and Parallels has always been that VMWare understand that stability and accuracy comes first, then bling.
I will buy whichever virtualization tool allows me to run Linux with GL accelerated compositing. This mentions support for OpenGL 2.0, does anyone know if this also applies to Linux and if it works with compiz and co?
(I’m guessing not.)
The headline is a bit misleading…
Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac released.
Are they really serious about that? 50%? Thats a big claim to make.