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Parallels 4.0 Gets Major Update, Can Do Windows 7

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parallelsGood news today for those of you who want to try out Microsoft’s latest attempt at an operating system without leaving the comfort of your Mac. A recent update to Mac virtualization program Parallels Desktop 4.0 (4.0.3810) introduces experimental support for Windows 7. Apple faithful will also note that the new update additionally brings support for Snow Leopard as both primary and guest operating system.

You may remember that in comparing Parallels to VMware Fusion 2.0, weĀ favoredĀ the latter fairly decisively. This doesn’t change my own opinion, but developers and others looking specifically to be able to run as many different types of virtual environments as possible might disagree.

The update contains a long list of improvements, of which new OS support is only a small part. Other new features include support for Apple remote disks, a silent start mode for Coherence, and direct dragging of Windows files to Mac apps in the Dock. Parallels also now claims increased battery life on portable Macs, owing to improvements in CPU usage. Finally, a number of speed-oriented improvements were also introduced, including DirextX 9.0 with Shaders Model 2 support, Intel SSE4 support for better media playback, and faster suspend and resume of virtual machines.

Note that VMware Fusion 2.0 does not yet support either Microsoft’s Windows 7 or Apple’s Snow Leopard, which are both still in closed developer beta. Look for support from Fusion soon, though, now that the gauntlet has been thrown by Paralells. Parallels is available for $79.99, or $49.99 if you’re upgrading from an existing version.

8 Responses to “Parallels 4.0 Gets Major Update, Can Do Windows 7”

  1. Aaron Balitsky

    One thing i want to point out is that vmware fusion does support windows 7… i tried it.. the only problem is that the glossy toolbar is just a single colour but the windows customizability feature still works..

    i Cant

  2. Wilson Ng - Guam


    …brings support for Snow Leopard as both primary and guest operating system….

    I thought Apple allows only Mac OS X Server to run in a virtual environment. I don’t recall Apple allowing Mac OS X to run in a virtual environment…..

  3. I’ve been running build 7000 of Windows 7 on VMWare Fusion 2 for a couple weeks now. It works great. I think you should change the wording of your article.

  4. AnonymousCoward

    I’ve been running pre-beta 32bit builds of Windows 7 Ultimate under Fusion 2 and with Bootcamp on my MacBook Pro for several months now without any blocking problems. Under bootcamp, sound has been broken occasionally and the built-in Wireless driver doesn’t do 802.11N but the builds have otherwise been very solid and a step up from Vista. With the beta, I’ve not been able to get the Windows Experience Index to complete under Fusion but, for my purposes, this isn’t an issue.