Parallels Offers Beta Of Virtualization Software For The Mac

Version 3.0 of the free software improves the look and feel of Windows programs in Coherence, and has a new image tool for converting the virtual hard drive format.



Parallels has released a new version of its virtualization software for testing that allows computer users to run Microsoft Windows operating system on an Apple Macintosh machine.

The beta of an upcoming version of Parallels Desktop 3.0 was released this week to the company's FTP servers. Among the major features is the ability to connect Windows to the iPhone. The beta is available free of charge.

Other enhancements include the ability to overlap several Windows and Mac windows, dubbed Coherence. The mode is used for running the two operating systems simultaneously, and for dragging and dropping files and folders between them.

The beta also has improvements to the look and feel of Windows programs in Coherence, and has a new image tool for converting the virtual hard drive format from plain to expanding or vice versa. In addition, the tool contains an enable/disable "undo disk" option, which erases all changes made during a session at shutdown. The feature is ideal for people doing a lot of testing in school settings. The image tool also can easily enlarge a virtual hard drive, if it's running out of space, Parallels said.

While the iPhone support may seem odd, given that the Mac already supports the latest Apple gadget, the feature is useful for people looking to look their iPhones up to Microsoft's e-mail client Outlook, Parallels said.

Parallels, which sell its virtualization software for $80, competes with VMware, which sells its Fusion virtualization software for the Mac. While virtualization of the operating system is one way to run Windows applications on the Mac, Altiris is an example of a vendor offering software that virtualizes the application, not the OS.

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