This one got a bit lost in my move to Pennsylvania—sorry about that—but Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac is now available, offering improved stability, compatibility, and performance, plus a ton of new features.
“This year, for the first time ever, we are bringing the two hottest features from Mac and Windows into one place via Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac,” Parallels president Jack Zubarev says in a prepared statement. “This new release delivers our best-ever Windows on Mac performance, plus innovative and useful new features and tools to help users get more done quickly and efficiently.”
Those two features—Windows app support for the Touch Bar on new MacBook Pro laptops and My People (or the People Bar) from Windows 10—are implemented in interesting ways in Parallels 13.
For the Touch Par, Parallels 13 provides integration with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as browsers including Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera, the company says. And when you are using the Windows Start Menu or desktop, Parallels 13 will display taskbar pinned apps, Cortana, Task View, and settings in the Touch Bar too.
With My People, Parallels 13 actually extends the functionality of this feature on the Mac, allowing the Mac to display all pinned contacts right in the Dock; with native Windows 10, you can only display three contacts in the taskbar.
Naturally, Parallels 13 includes other new features too. Key among them are:
Ready for the latest OS versions. Parallels 13 fully supports macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 version 1709 (Fall Creators Update).
Automatic Windows 10 installs. The Parallels Installation Assistant can automatically install Windows 10 into a VM (virtual machine) before the OS is even paid for so you can get up and running quickly.
Picture-in-Picture (PiP) View. Windowed Windows applications can now appear over full-screen Mac apps so that you can monitor and work in both environments more easily. PiP View is the latest in a long line of Parallels features that blur the line between the host macOS environment and a Windows VM; others include Coherence (Where Windows is invisible while using Windows apps on a Mac), Full Screen mode, and a traditional Window mode (Full Windows environment in a window in macOS).
Single Application mode. Coming this Fall to Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition, this feature lets IT admins deliver, lock and secure an invisible Windows VM with selected applications to a user’s Mac Dock so that users can more easily discover it.
Retina display improvements. Parallels 13 offers better support for high-DPI Retina displays for improved transitions and better scaling.
Performance improvements. Parallels 13 has been fine-tuned across the board with up to 100 percent performance improvement for External Thunderbolt SSD drives, up to 50 percent faster Snapshot creation for large memory VMs, and more.
Parallels 13 is available in a variety of editions, including Parallels Desktop 13, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition 13, and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition 13. Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac is $79.99, but you can upgrade from version 11 or 12 for $49.99. The Parallels Desktop Pro Edition subscription is available for an introductory price of $49.99 per year for life. And Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition and Business Edition are each available to new customers for $99.99 per year.
I’ll be examining this new release soon, but Parallels has long been my go-to solution for running Windows on Mac, and I suspect it is still quite excellent.