Parallels has released version 13.0 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software, which enables you to add Windows applications to the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, as well as provides support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra and upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update features. Parallels Desktop 13 promises improved performance (claiming 47 percent faster access to Windows files and documents), improves file transfer speed from USB 3.0 mass storage devices and external Thunderbolt SSD devices, and makes it easy to install Windows 10 into a virtual machine via the Parallels Installation Assistant.
For those with a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Parallels Desktop 13 provides integration for Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as browsers including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. When using the Windows Start Menu or Desktop, the Touch Bar includes Taskbar-pinned elements as well as Cortana, Task View, and settings. The new Picture-in-Picture (PiP) View creates windows of other active virtual machines, and Parallels Desktop comes with over 30 installed utilities that range from freeing up disk space and downloading video from Web sites to recording your screen.
The standard edition of Parallels Desktop (positioned for home and student use) costs $79.99 as a one-time purchase or $49 as an upgrade for those with previous licenses. (A 14-day free trial is available.) The Pro edition switches to a subscription model priced at $99 per year (with a $49 renewal subscription), and it adds the capability to assign up to 32 cores (vCPU) and 128 GB of vRAM per virtual machine, app performance analysis and optimization, and automatic resolution switching based on use (such as podcast, video tutorial, or Web browser testing). The Business edition is also priced at $99 per year (with no upgrade option), and it includes Single Application Mode deployment and the capability to add selected Windows applications to a user’s Dock upon deployment. ($79.99 new for standard edition ($49.99 upgrade), $99.99 annual subscription for Pro/Business Edition ($49.99 renewal for Pro), 251 MB, release notes, 10.10.5+)