The Best of Both Worlds

Par­al­lels Desk­top 9 for Mac

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

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.

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