Parallels Desktop, the software that lets you pretend you’re running Windows (amongst others), whilst actually remaining within the comforting embrace of Mac OS, is getting an update, which does indeed seem to be a yearly thing now.
Version 9, which will be available September 5 (unless you’re upgrading from version 8, in which case you can get it right NOW) contains the usual new stuff, including support for operating systems not yet available, like OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1, BUT, most important to us, it boasts 15% graphics performance improvement (and 40% disk performance) over version 8 (which itself claimed 25% better graphics performance over version 7). If you can remember back to 2012, when we took a look at Parallels 8, we did indeed find that the claims were upheld. It will be interesting to see how PD9 now compares to Boot Camp, and you know what? We plan to do just that.
Other features are cloud storage enhancements so you don’t need 500 instances of dropbox, thunderbolt device support, and PowerNap for Windows. Also new is the so-called Parallels Access, a subscription that lets you stream applications from Macs (or Windows) to iPads. Does this mean a new era of iPad gaming? We’ll find out about that too.
And if you’ve not yet bought Parallels Desktop, you can still buy version 8 now and get a free upgrade to version 9 on September 5. So that’s nice.