Parallels, Inc. last week announced a release candidate for an update to their Parallels Desktop for Mac, adding compatibility for Apple's new Mac Pro computer and the developer builds of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The "Update RC," a free update for all Parallels Desktop users, adds additional improvements such as improved compatibility for Solaris and OpenBSD 3.8 guest operating systems, and an improved Parallels Tools package.
The $80 Parallels Desktop allows owners of Intel-based Macs to run Windows or other Intel-based operating systems in a virtual machine while still running Mac OS X. Apple's Boot Camp solution, still a public beta until Leopard's release, requires the user to restart the Mac to switch between Mac OS X and Windows operating systems. Parallels offers a 15-day free trial of their software. (Don't forget that you can save $10 off the cost of a Parallels Desktop license using a coupon from Joe Kissell's "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac" ebook, rendering the ebook free.)
Another option for Intel Mac users who wish to run Windows applications is CrossOver Mac, a forthcoming product from CodeWeavers, Inc., released as a public beta late last month. This application doesn't even require the user to install Windows. Based on Wine, which re-implements the Windows developer APIs, CrossOver Mac lets Mac users run many, though not all, Windows applications in their own separate windows under Mac OS X.