Parallels Desktop 4 brings Windows owners up to speed

Parallels has launched a new version of its Windows/Linux virtualisation product, which the company claims could run applications eight times faster than its predecessors.

Parallels Desktop 4 brings Windows owners up to speed

Parallels is best known for its Desktop for Mac application, which allows people to virtualise Windows applications, such as Office 2007, on their Apple hardware.

The rather cumbersomely titled Parallels Desktop 4 for Windows and Linux is an update to the three-year old Parallels Workstation 2.2, which offers the same tools for Windows and Linux owners. According to Parallels, the name change is significant because it reflects the fact that the Windows package is no longer a poor cousin to the Mac version.

“We wanted to align the products, but we only have so many developers and so many months, and so here we are, a little later than expected with a product that features the same architecture and the same core technology we use on our Mac products,” says David Abramowski, director of product marketing for business and consumer at Parallels.

Here we are, a little later than expected with a product that features the same architecture and the same core technology we use on our Mac products

The highlight of that core technology is FastLane virtualisation which means Parallels Desktop 4 should be “eight times faster than the previous version thanks to the way we handle multiple cores and our ability to use greater amounts of memory,” according to Abramowski.

This should make the package much more useful to power users such as web developers and those using DTP and design packages. Indeed, Desktop 4 can create virtual machines supporting up to eight cores, 8GB of RAM, 2TB storage and 16 network interfaces.

The package also brings Parallels “coherence technology” that can seamlessly integrate virtual applications into the Windows or Linux desktop.

Those looking to jump aboard Parallels will require Intel’s VT-X or AMD’s V processor technology. It will run atop all versions of Windows from Windows 2000, and all the popular Linux distros including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Upgrade versions begin at £55 (inc VAT).

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