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Parallels Desktop 16 promises to run Windows even faster on your Mac

11 August 2020, Nick Peers

Corel-subsidiary Parallels International GmbH has launched Parallels Desktop 16.0, the simplest and fastest way of running Windows in a virtual environment on a Mac.

The virtualisation software, which can emulate a wide range of operating systems, including Linux and earlier versions of macOS, comes with the promise of over 30 new features, including ever-faster performance and new features, plus has been updated "to take full advantage of the new macOS Big Sur architecture and revamped kernel extensions”, a nod to the upcoming release of macOS 11.0, the biggest macOS update in over a decade.

Parallels Desktop 16 lets you run Windows, macOS and Linux virtual machines on your Mac.

Performance improvements sees Windows users gain up to 20 percent more speed with DirectX 11-compatible games and apps, plus improved OpenGL 3 graphics, which also applies to Linux VMs. The net result is that more apps and games can now be run on the virtual Windows platform. Windows VMs also launch twice as fast as previously, while also enjoying a 20 percent boost to their resume and shutdown speeds.

Those running Parallels on MacBooks should also see battery life improved by a further 10 percent thanks to changes to the Travel Mode feature for Windows VMs, which can now be switched on directly from the VM’s own Actions menu.

Other noticeable changes: users can now also configure Windows VMs to automatically reclaim free disk space on shutdown, while Windows apps gain support for additional multi-touch gestures, namely support for smooth zoom and rotating via the Trackpad.

Printing has also been improved within Windows VMs, with users now able to print on both sides of the paper with supported printers as well as a choice of more paper sizes spanning from envelope all the way up to A0.

Specialist wizards take the pain out of installing Windows and Linux.

In addition to these feature and performance improvements, Parallels Desktop 16 has been designed from the ground up for the forthcoming macOS 11.0. This includes removing depreciated kernel extensions to ensure Parallels now uses native Mac virtualization. The app has also been redesigned to fit seamlessly into the design updates coming in Big Sur.

Parallels Desktop 16 is available now as a free trial download for Macs running macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or later. Some features (DirectX 11 support) require Mojave or later. Additional hardware requirements can be found here.

Three editions are available: Standard can be purchased as a perpetual license for $79.99/£79.99. Existing users can upgrade for $49.99/£39.99. Pro and Business editions are available as annual subscriptions only, each costing $99.99/£79.99 per year, with an upgrade path for existing users to the Pro edition for $49.99/£39.99 for the first year. Click here to compare editions. Note that subscriptions also come with complementary concurrent subscriptions to both Parallels Access and Parallels Toolbox.

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