Available since yesterday, Paralles Desktop 3.0 for Mac brings a lot of new features, mostly for former Windows users. First of all there’s 3D Graphics support – so now you can run all your favorite games in a virtual Windows machine, which wasn’t possible before.
More important for me is the SmartSelect feature. It allows you to select whether you want to open a file using a Windows app in the virtual machine or using a native Mac application. This is way cool since there’s a whole lot of superior editors available on the Mac platform. Well, at least I prefer them over the ones available for Windows.
With Parallels Transporter you can convert your physical Windows machine into a virtual disk for Parallels – something that VMware has been doing with the P2V tool for quite some time now is finally available for Parallels as well.
Using the new Snapshot feature you can freeze frame a certain state of a virtual machine. This is quite handy before installing new software so one can always revert the machine to its former state.
The downside is that even if you already bought Parallels Desktop 2.x, you’ll have to pay an upgrade fee to get the new features. Also, existing virtual machines of former versions have to be converted to the new format. That went without a problem here but you better have a backup handy. As I had to learn, suspended machines can be converted but will not start from the suspended state. Instead they will go through a fresh boot with the side effect of all data in open apps before the suspend operation being lost.
Also be warned that older keys from previous versions of Parallels Desktop won’t even work as a demo key for Parallels Desktop 3.0. So if you need your virtual machines to do your work, at least get a demo licence first.
If you want to learn more about what Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac can do, I suggest you watch the videos.
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