A major new release, version 8.0 of Parallels Desktop has been tuned up for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and the upcoming Windows 8. Overall, the virtualization software tightens the integration between the Mac and Windows operating systems. In particular, the virtualization software enables use of Mountain Lion’s Dictation in Windows applications, adds one-click access to opening Web sites in Internet Explorer (when they’re not properly rendered in Safari), brings Mountain Lion’s gestures (such as pinch to zoom, swipe between full-screen apps, and more) to Windows apps, and offers the capability to add Windows apps to Launchpad. Additionally, multiple Windows and Mac devices can share Bluetooth connections, Windows notifications now appear in Mountain Lion’s Notification Center, and you can drag files from the Desktop onto Windows email clients in the Dock. The new release has also been optimized for the Retina display of the latest MacBook Pro.
Parallels Desktop 8 offers improved performance, boasting up to 30 percent faster graphics performance compared to previous versions. And with the updated Parallels Mobile App, you can access Mac and Windows programs via your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with access to copy and paste and audio. If you purchased a previous version of Parallels Desktop before 24 July 2012, you can upgrade to version 8 for $49.99. And those who purchased Parallels Desktop 7 after 25 July 2012 are entitled to a complimentary upgrade. ($79.99 new, $49.99 upgrade, 331 MB)