Parallels takes on VMware

Parallels has introduced its Desktop 5 virtualization platform for the Mac. According to the Renton-based company, Desktop 5 performs 22 percent faster than the competition (VMware) when running a 64-bit version of Windows 7. In addition, version 5 reportedly offers up to 300 percent faster performance for virtual machine operations than previous iterations of the platform.

“As the OS battles rage between Microsoft, Apple and Linux, we provide a completely customizable solution that enables people to use the applications they need with the fastest performance available, regardless of the operating system,” claimed Parallels CEO Serguei Beloussov.

Beloussov explained that Desktop 5 boasts 70 new features, including full screen mode, the ability to use Mac OS X trackpad gestures in a Windows environment, full support for Aero, Flip 3D and accelerated Linux performance.

Desktop 5 also offers:

  • Improved graphic performance for games and 3D applications – Direct X 9Ex Shader Model 3 and OpenGL 2.1 support.
  • Utilization of full hardware resources – 8 virtual CPUs, 64 bit Windows and Snow Leopard Server 64 bit.
  • Copy & Paste fidelity – format text and complete layouts, including images between Windows and Linux guest OSs.
  • Multiple monitors – run Windows and Mac apps on more than one display.

Parallels Desktop 5 is priced at $80, although current users can upgrade their existing software for $50.

It should be noted that VMware’s Fusion 3 also carries an $80 price tag and offers a number of similar features. Like Parallels, Fusion 3 supports Aero, Flip 3D, OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX Shader Model 3 for 3D gaming.

Finally, Fusion 3 is fully optimized for Snow Leopard with a 64-bit core engine that was specifically designed to function alongside Windows 7’s 64-bit kernel. ?

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