Parallels to Offer Major Virtualization Update

Parallels has released to beta testers a glimpse of the next version of its Mac OS virtualization software. Among the changes are a redesigned user interface, and tighter integration with Boot Camp.

For the first time, Parallels would be able to use a Boot Camp partition with a copy of Windows XP installed as a virtual hard disk drive. This would negate the need for the user to restart his or her computer to access the Windows partition.

With the current implementation of Boot Camp, the computer must be restarted and the operating system selected at that time. Only one operating system can be run at any time, although Apple is rumored to be building virtualization into the next version of Mac OS X, code named "Leopard."


Other enhancements focus on changes to the user interface. The main Parallels desktop window can now be resized, and the Windows screen resolution would automatically adjust to compensate for the change. Another feature, called "coherency" would display Windows apps as if they were Macintosh ones.

Drag-and-drop functionality has also been built into the application, allowing the user to drag files between the two operating systems. This is aimed at limiting the need to switch between the two platforms.

Among the other enhancements: support for more than one virtual machine; improved graphics and USB support; networking enhancements and bug fixes; and an application called "Transporter," which assists in the migration of VMs from other providers.

The new release be provided as a free update from the current version of the Parallels software.

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