Parallels Desktop 4.0 released- 50% faster


Coherence_vm2One of the two software solutions for running Windows or Linux on an Intel Mac (and that’s just about all of them now) has just received a major upgrade.  Parallels Desktop for the Mac has just been upgraded to version 4.0 and there are a long list of improvements not the least of which is a claimed 50% boost in Windows Vista performance.  Parallels allows the installation of supported operating systems in virtual machines on a Mac that can run on the OS X desktop allowing full function operation of those OSes.  Here’s just a sample of the improvements in 4.0:

  • Improved user interface
  • Faster performance
  • 64-bit Windows support
  • Multi-core support
  • Modality view- allows a scaled down window of the full VM screen to keep an eye on it in a small window
  • Speech recognition- control Parallels and Windows via speech
  • Inclusion of Atronis Disk Image/ Director- make full image backups of the VM
  • Many, many more

The full price for Parallels Desktop 4.0 is $79.99 and those who purchased 3.0 after September 1, 2007 get a free upgrade.  Regular upgrade price is just $39.99 for those who purchased an earlier version prior to the September date.  I qualified for the free upgrade so I am installing 4.0 on the new MacBook as I am writing this and will install Vista Ultimate on it when it’s ready.  Who knows, maybe I’ll put Windows 7 on it.  :)


J Maille

I know you always promote the fact that different people will find different hardware and different software best suited to their tasks. But rather than paying $80 for Parallels, I would suggest first going to and trying xVM VirtualBox. It doesn’t sound like it has all the features of Parallels (yet) but it has the advantage of being free. It also allows you to run not just any version of MS Windows but also Linux, Solaris, and just about any other OS you can think of or remember. And the virtual machines you build are portable to any of the other host OS’s VirtualBox runs on. Just a suggestion.

James Kendrick

Rick, I can’t really tell until I use it a while but frankly I don’t use it much while mobile. I believe it is referring to the “Parallels” power setting that is now available to Vista and the docs say it uses the Mac’s power management even in Parallels. I don’t have VMWARE so I can’t compare it.

Rick Huizinga


Can you comment on the “improved battery life” claim of the new version?

How does it compare to VMWare Fusion in this respect?

Dave Zatz

I own both Parallels and Fusion. But I don’t think I’ll pay (again) to upgrade Parallels. Unless it’s totally spectacular and has really reduced it’s footprint. I normally use Fusion, as I’ve found the video performance a bit better.

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