Hot on the heels of VMware's release of Fusion 3 (see "VMware Fusion 3," 28 October 2009) comes a new version of Parallels Desktop for Mac. Parallels 5 fully supports Windows 7, and is reportedly up to 300 percent faster than the previous version of Parallels (with even greater gains in 3D graphics performance). It now lets you run 64-bit versions of Windows and Snow Leopard Server as guest operating systems, and lets you assign up to eight virtual cores to virtual machines. Compatibility and performance gains are among over 70 new features, including a MacLook Theme, which gives Windows windows the appearance of Mac windows; Crystal Mode, which extends Coherence view by eliminating the Parallels menus and putting the Windows Start menu in the Mac OS X menu bar; support for the Apple Remote and gestures on multi-touch trackpads; improved copy-and-paste and drag-and-drop features; and expanded support for multiple displays. A free trial version is available, and Parallels now offers a $49.99 competitive upgrade price to owners of VMware Fusion. ($79.99 new, $49.99 upgrade, 219 MB)
Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations
You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.
- VMware Fusion 3 (28 Oct 09)
Parallels Desktop 5
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I've been a happy user since version 3, and can't say I have found anything that would cause me to switch to VMWare. Tech support is a little slow, because they are Russians, in different time zones, but they will answer your questions.