- Windows WDDM driver with DX and OpenGL support – allows you to use Aero theme in Windows Vista and Windows 7 virtual machines in any view mode, including Coherence.
- Multi-monitor support for Windows and Linux guest OSs – Use all displays of your Mac in the virtual machine while in Full Screen and Coherence.
- DirectX 9 Shader Model 3 - DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 3 is supported for Windows virtual machines.
- OpenGL 2.1 support for Linux guest OSs – Applications that require OpenGL (up to version 2.1) can be used in Linux virtual machines.
- Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) support
- Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard supported both as host and guest OS. 64-bit Snow Leopard is now supported.
- General performance of virtualization engine improved.
- Improved scalability and performance of SMP.
- 8-way SMP: Users can assign up to 8 virtual CPUs to a single virtual machine.
- Intel VT-x2 (VPIDs, EPT and FlexPriority) support – Intel VT-x2 virtualization technology features support for better performance of virtual machines.
- KVM paravirtualization – improved performance of paravirtualized Linux guest OSs.
- Better handling of Snapshots.
- Improved performance of Boot Camp virtual machines.
- Increased boot speed for Windows virtual machines.
New User Interface
1. New Virtual Machine window
- Quartz Composer animations added.
- Coloring synced with virtual machine list.
- Improved look-and-feel and simplified controls.
- Better-organized settings
- Improved look-and-feel
- Improved look-and-feel
- Better organized settings
- Drag-and-drop support - Add existing virtual machines by dragging their files to the virtual machines list.
- Virtual Machines ordering using Drag-and-drop - Rearrange the list by dragging your virtual machines.
- Colored virtual machines - Highlight your virtual machines by applying different colors to them in Finder or in the virtual machines list.
6. Active Screen Corners in full screen - specify an action to perform when you move the pointer to a screen corner in the full screen mode.
7. Lockdown – Lock the Parallels Desktop and virtual machine settings to prevent changes.
8. Changes in New Virtual Machine assistant: better organized new virtual machine assistant.
Integration Tools and Features
- Crystal mode – A view mode that provides you with all the benefits of Coherence and at the same time allows you to hide the Parallels Desktop interface elements and work only with Windows applications side-by-side with your Mac applications.
- Improved Coherence - Work in Windows programs with incredible performance on all your Mac displays. Aero theme is now fully supported in Coherence.
- MacLook - Windows look metamorphosis. Now your Windows programs can look like native Mac applications.
- Improved handling of 3rd party virtual machines - VMware and Microsoft Virtual PC virtual machines are automatically added to the virtual machines list and can be easily converted into Parallels virtual machines.
- Smooth upgrade from previous versions - Painless upgrade from the previous version of Parallels Desktop, no conversion needed.
- Parallels Icon in the Mac Menu bar – New menu bar icon in Crystal mode allows to access Windows Start Menu straight from Mac menu bar.
- Virtual machine is paused when no applications are running in it – With this feature enabled, the virtual machine will be paused automatically when no Windows applications are in use, causing the CPU and memory resources to be released back to your Mac.
- Windows Applications folder in the Dock – New and simple way to open Windows programs straight from the Mac OS Dock.
- Improved tray notifications in Coherence – You can see the Windows notifications in Coherence.
- Improved Shared Folders– Exchanging data through shared folders has been significantly improved.
- Trackpad Gestures support – Multi-touch trackpad gestures (swipe, rotate, pinch) can be used with Windows applications, including MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and others.
- Apple Remote support - Apple Remote can control Windows applications like MS Power Point, Windows Media Player, Winamp, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and others.
- Horizontal scrolling – Support for mouse devices that provide horizontal scrolling. - Virtual Links – Use aliases to Mac OS files from Windows virtual machines.
- Shared Clipboard for Linux guest OSs – Copy items between Linux guest OS and Mac OS.
- Copy & paste formatted text - Formatting will be preserved between different Windows and Linux virtual machines and your Mac.
- Copy & paste pictures - Between different Windows and Linux virtual machines and your Mac.
- Improved Drag & Drop – Drag email attachments between Windows virtual machine and Mac OS.
- Improved Shared Profile - Windows Movies and Downloads folders are accessible from both Mac and Windows.
- Improved Smart Mount - Select which types of devices connected to your Mac should be mounted to Windows as volumes.
- Contextual menu items - "Show in Finder" and "Run on Mac" items in the contextual menu for the files stored in Mac OS folders are shared with Windows virtual machine.
- Isolated virtual machine - Allows you to isolate your Mac from the virtual machine for the purpose of security or other reasons.
- Universal keyboard switch – Use the same shortcuts to switch keyboard input language in Mac and the virtual machine.
- Keyboard Autocapture - Automatically capture keyboard input inside the virtual machine when Parallels Desktop is in focus.
Virtual devices support
- Improved USB speed – USB speed has significantly increased.
- Improved USB compatibility – More types of USB devices are supported.
- Bridging VLAN on Mac – Allows the users to access the Mac OS X VLAN from virtual machines.
- Automatic compressing - Automatically reduce the virtual hard disk size as the unused space on it grows.
- Virtual network adapters are not listed in Mac OS System Preferences anymore.
- CAC reader devices support - Common access cards are now supported in virtual machines.
- Flexible Boot Camp partitions configuration - If you have several Boot Camp partitions, you can choose which to use in the virtual machine.
- Built-in disk resizing tool - Now you can change the size of your virtual machine's hard disk directly from the Virtual Machine Configuration - the file system of your virtual machine will be resized accordingly.
Guest OS installation
- Windows 7 express installation — Windows 7 can be installed in unattended mode.
- Linux express installation — Most popular Linux OSs can be installed in unattended mode.
- Parallels Transporter – Migrate your physical computer or a 3rd party virtual machine (VMware, Microsoft Virtual PC, or VirtualBox) to a Parallels virtual machine. Microsoft Windows 7 is fully supported.
- New Parallels Image Tool – Allows you to resize the virtual disk and change its format.
- Experimental support for Windows trial virtual machines - You can now download Windows virtual machines with trial versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008 operating systems.