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Enterprise users upgrading to Mac and iOS devices often find they need to run some of their existing Windows applications on their new devices and may be interested to learn that the latest edition of Parallels can deliver this and more.

What is Parallels?

Now at version 14 and available since 2006, Parallels Desktop lets you run different types of Windows on your Mac (it also lets you run other operating systems).

The company has been working on its solution for years, which means it has developed (among other things) a way you can run Windows applications on your Mac just like any other Mac app – even dragging and dropping items between the two operating systems.

Parallels is also an excellent solution if you need to run Windows on an iOS device, thanks to a companion product called Parallels Access.

It’s important to understand the extent to which this solution is already in use among enterprise clients. IBM, General Electric, SAP and the Oath media group between them now run almost half a million Macs across their business. There is also a growing demand among new employees to use Macs and Apple’s mobile devices, which Parallels has confirmed is driving demand for its products.

Ready for Mojave

With most Mac users preparing to install macOS 10.14 Mojave when the new operating system ships this fall, Parallels stressed that its software is already ready for the new system – this means you can host the OS in a virtual machine (VM) and will be able to host other VMs using Parallels on a Mojave Mac when the OS ships. You even get Quick Look support on Windows, with Quick Actions, too.

Storage and performance improvements

There are many useful storage enhancements.

One key improvement is that it has optimized storage of virtual machines, which basically means that you should recover several gigabytes of storage space when you upgrade to Parallels 14 from a previous version.

(The company says it saw 17GB of saved storage on the standard release version of Windows 10).

You will also find a series of built-in tools designed to help you save disk space on all the virtual systems you have installed.

The developers have put a lot of focus into performance in this release, so enterprise users attempting to use Windows applications on their Macs can expect up to twice the performance (in comparison to the previous version) when working on their iMac Pro. Applications will launch up to 80 percent faster and it will be faster when booting up a system.

Users can now monitor the CPU usage indicator in the menu, while the completely redesigned Resource Monitor shows Mac resources as well as the impact when running multiple virtual machines.

Additional improvements include

Parallels has improved OpenGL and video memory allocation in the release, which means apps like SketchUp and others will work better than before, and some Windows apps which did not run in the past should now do so.

There are many other highlights:

  • You can use Microsoft Ink to edit Microsoft Office for Windows documents on a Mac – pressure sensitivity is carried across.
  • You can also use a MacBook Pro Touch Bar with various Windows applications
  • You can also create your own Touch Bar customizations using Parallels XML Authoring tools
  • Parallels will support shared 4K cameras.
  • Better support for multiple monitors
  • Even more (over 30) utilities designed to make it easier for Windows users to get more from a Mac, and easier for Mac users to get more done within their Windows VM.

While you must acquire your own copy of any software you hope to run using Parallels, the product itself costs $99.99 for a perpetual license or $79.99 for an annual license, which also includes future product upgrades. A 14-day trial can be downloaded from the Parallels website.

Open for business

Like Apple, Parallels seems focused on the enterprise.

With this in mind it has made some welcome improvements (enhanced management, security and licensing portals)to its Parallels Desktop Business Edition product.

This is designed to make it very much easier for business users to manage large deployments of the software across multiple Macs, and includes things like smart card reader support, Jamf Pro integration, the capacity to assign separate administrators for sub-licenses and a handy deployment mode.

The licensing portal improvements are particularly handy, as they enable enterprise users to invite employees to install new systems by email, which is useful in terms of both ease-of-use and the application of licensing policy.

All in all, Parallels 14 looks like a great solution for any modern cross-platform enterprise eager to support employee choice while also ensuring excellence in cross-platform compatibility across their business.

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