Parallels 9 For Mac Announced With Support For OS X Mavericks And Windows Blue

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Following the release of Parallels Access on the iPad, the ninth version of Parallels for Mac has been announced. The popular Windows virtualization software has been updated with full support for OS X Mavericks and Windows Blue 8.1.

Besides performance upgrades, Parallels 9 features several new features, like integration with Power Nap in OS X. Windows users will rejoice that Parallels has brought back the old Start menu to Windows 8 as well.

“Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac customers will enjoy peace of mind knowing that Parallels keeps pace with and supports leading new technologies, such as the upcoming OS X Mavericks, Windows 8.1 and increasingly popular cloud services,” said Parallels CEO Birger Steen. “We thank our customers for appreciating our innovations and making Parallels Desktop for Mac the No. 1-selling software for running Windows on a Mac for seven years and counting.”

Some speed improvements include 40% faster disk performance, 25% faster virtual machine startups and shutdowns, 20% faster virtual machine suspension, and 15% faster web browsing.

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The Start menu is back!

The main pro of Parallels is that it allows you to run Windows programs alongside Mac apps in OS X. File sharing between the two operating systems has been improved in version 9.0 thanks to direct integration with services like Photo Stream, Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive. Another thing Parallels has done to tie the two platforms together is add Power Nap, Thunderbolt, and Firewire support to virtualized Windows apps.

Parallels 9 is available now as a $50 update for existing customers, and the full version is shipping for $80 online and in stores September 5th. There’s a 50% discount available for students, and anyone who purchased version 8 on or after August 15th gets a free upgrade to version 9.

To celebrate the app’s launch, Parallels is throwing in six free months of Access on the iPad for new customers.

  • Howie Isaacks

    I bought the upgrade yesterday. It’s looking really good. I haven’t put it through its paces in a big way yet. I’m saving that for the weekend. Yes, I know I should just enjoy my weekend, but this is how workaholic computer guys like me have fun :) My existing Windows 7 VM runs faster now. It ran pretty well on Parallels 8 since I’m running it on a MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM and an SSD installed, but there is a noticeable speed improvement. I setup a Mountain Lion VM, and the install process was about the same as running it on real hardware. Previously, the install process took longer. Next up will be to upgrade the Mountain Lion VM to Mavericks. In all my testing of Mavericks, I haven’t performed an upgrade from a previous OS X version yet. Right now, Parallels 9 won’t install directly from the Mavericks install app.

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Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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