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)
Mighty Mouse as Application Switcher
Looking for an easier way to switch between multiple applications? Within Keyboard and Mouse Preferences under System Preferences, you can configure the scroll wheel to act as an Application Switcher. Press the scroll button to bring up Application Switcher, scroll to toggle to the application you want, and hit the scroll button again to switch. You can also double-click the scroll button to quickly switch to the previously active application.
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- 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.