Parallels Desktop 8 is now available

Windows virtualisation software Parallels Desktop is receiving a new update, bringing it to version 8. Parallels announced the new version in a blog post, and said that new users would be able to buy a license from Tuesday September 4th, although somewhat confusingly, existing users are able to upgrade immediately. Parallels allows you to run Windows on your Mac, without needing to reboot. The performance of games running under parallels is variable, but for games with no Mac version available, it can be the best way to get them on your Mac.

The new version features better Mountain Lion, Windows 8 and Retina* support (including support for new OS-level features such as dictation and notification center), and boasts a 30% performance improvement in 3D graphics over the previous version. There are some other interface improvements, as well as general speed and performance improvements. The blog post has all the details.

Anyone who bought Parallels Desktop 7 on or after July 25th qualifies for a free upgrade. If you’re a new user eager to get your hands on it, you can always buy Parallels Desktop 7 right now and just get the upgrade. New licenses are priced at $79.99, with upgrades from version 7 at $49.99. There’s also a 14 day trial version available.

We’ll have a full report on the new version soon.

*See this article for enabling Retina resolution in Parallels


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