Release: Parallels Desktop for Mac 5.0

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Just a few weeks after the release of VMware Fusion 3.0, Parallels answers with Desktop for Mac 5.0.

The company released the previous edition of this hosted virtualization platform exactly one year ago.

The new version 5.0 focuses on performance, claiming a 300% improvement on virtual machines operations (like start/stop a virtual machine) and up to 22% faster performance compared to Fusion (the study was conducted by Crimson Consulting Group but there’s no documentation for that).

Beyond that, the product ships features that seem on par with the ones provided by Fusion 3.0, with some advantages here and there:

  • Support for 64bit
  • Support for 8-way vCPUs
  • Support for Aero (Windows 7/Vista), OpenGL 2.1 (Windows XP and Linux) and DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 3
  • Support for Mac OS X 10.6 codename Snow Leopard (32bit and 64bit, host and guest OS)
  • Support for multi-touch gesture in Windows guest applications
  • Virtual Machine Lock Down

At this point there’s not much differentiation between the Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. It’s primarily a matter of personal taste and capability to promptly solve the issues that demanding Mac customers will point out.
It will be very hard for Parallels to keep its market share unless they releases some major exclusive features.