The Best of Both Worlds
Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac
many added new features. Some that are worth mentioning include support for OS X’s contextual dictionary on Windows virtual machines. This means that while browsing in your Windows virtual machines, you can use the three-finger tap to find meanings of unfamiliar words.
Another new and helpful feature is Power Nap integration with your Windows virtual machines. While your computer is asleep, your Windows virtual machine as well as OS X can both receive new emails, calendar and iCloud updates, and even perform scheduled backups.
Recognizing the popularity of cloud storage, Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac also offers smart integration with Cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. Instead of creating a folder for every virtual machine, Parallels actually detects what cloud apps you have and sets that up for your other virtual machines. This reduces the need for separate installs and folders on your virtual machines, saving storage space.
The latest version of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac also lets you mount Thunderbolt or Firewire external hard drives to your virtual machines - previously this was only possible for USB drives. This is useful if you intend to use such drives to create boot disks.
Finally, Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac also adds a “real” Start menu for Windows 8 that works just like Windows of old, instead of bringing you back to the Modern UI style start screen.
As for performance, Parallels claims 40% faster disk performance, 25% faster virtual machine shutdown times and up to 15% faster web browsing and graphics. Although we could not accurately determine these claims, based on our own usage, Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac does seem to run appreciably faster. Startup and shutdown timings, in particular, are considerably shorter than before.
Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac is an incremental update to one of the most popular desktop virtualization software for Mac. If you find yourself having to switch between Mac and Windows systems, this is one piece of software that will make your life much easier.