Parallels Desktop 8 blurs lines between Windows 8, Mac – adds gesture support

Parallels has updated their software which lets you run Windows on Mac computers to add better support for Windows 8. Now Parallels Desktop 8 includes support for Windows 8 touchscreen  gestures and a Windows 8 Live Tile that lets you access Mac apps when you’re running Windows.

Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac (with Windows 8)

The update also adds support for USB 3.0 connections, improves support for Macs with Retina displays, and several other performance enhancements.

Apple has offered a “boot camp” feature for a few years which lets you dual boot Windows and OS X on the same computer. But Parallels lets you run Windows in a virtual machine withing OS X, which lets you run Windows apps without rebooting your Mac.

It also supports some pretty nifty cross-platform features including the ability to use OS X Mountain Lion dictation with Windows apps or add Windows apps to your Launchpad.

Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac costs $80.

via 9to5Mac

  • Mark

    Anyone compared this with VMware Fusion? They had USB 3.0 and Windows 8 support since August.

    • ML

      Yes. The problem I have with VMware Fusion is that it is a standard VM interface. You have a window that is your Windows desktop. Whereas Parallels has what’s called Coherency mode where it can run virtualized apps in their own windows. So When I pop open Excel it’s in a window like any other application not a VM environment so I command tab between it and other Mac apps.

      This was my solution for what to do about Win 8. I hated the RC, but need the environment to use Visual Studio and all that. This integrates seemlessly and opens up the world of iOS development for me to boot. Plus the hardware is better than anything else I’ve ever used, including the new ThinkPad I just got my wife (who didn’t want to make a OS switch). I’m very happy I went this route, and Parallels is a huge reason for that.

      • agas

        Doesn’t VMware Fusion have Unity mode which does the same thing?

    • disi

      I don’t know about Parallels but VMware Workstation outperforms KVM and VirtualBox that I’ve used in terms of disk I/O, network I/O and CPU performance.

  • Sam Curcio

    Good, now show us an OS X tablet to take real advantage of Windows 8.

    • John Longson

      for a low low price of $79 you can get an Apple-approved touchpad for the Mac that will cramp up your hand just like a real laptop!

  • ML

    I love this VM solution. It’s made my transition to the Mac completely painless. Instead of giving anything up, all I did was open up a bunch of new doors because now I have the best of all worlds, and some of the nicest hardware it’s ever been my pleasure to own.

  • kirtinag

    A virtual copy of your Mac would seem very much like the real thing from a subjective point of view, but would actually be a set of files and programs running on your actual machine.

  • John Longson

    Thank goodness. I was wondering how I could put my $2000 MacBook AirPro to good use.