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Parallels Desktop 5

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)

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