25 August 2017

Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac first to bring Windows apps to the Mac Touch Bar

Source: Parallels. The new Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac.
Source: Parallels. The new Parallels Desktop
13 for Mac.
Parallels, a global player in cross-platform solutions and creator of software for running Windows applications on a Mac, has launched Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac.

Bringing together the best of both worlds, Parallels Desktop 13 makes it simple for MacBook Pro users to add Windows applications to the Touch Bar, and use Touch Bar within Windows applications. The software provides macOS High Sierra readiness and support for upcoming Windows 10 features. It is also the first solution to bring the upcoming Windows 10 People Bar feature to the Mac – including integration with the Mac Dock and Spotlight. The new version also features up to 100% performance improvements for completing certain tasks. 

“This year, for the first time ever, we are bringing the two hottest features from Mac and Windows into one place via Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac,” said Jack Zubarev, Parallels President. “This new release delivers our best-ever Windows on Mac performance, plus innovative and useful new features and tools to help users get more done quickly and efficiently.”

The Parallels Installation Assistant will automatically install Windows 10 into a virtual machine (VM), which can be purchased at a later date without losing data or installed applications. It can also detect first-time users and ask if they would like a VM installed with a single click. Users can purchase and automatically install Windows 10 from Microsoft, add an existing copy of Windows, and simply move their PC to their Mac. "You can buy any flavour of product key to purchase that VM," said Kurt Schmucker, Senior Product Manager, Cross Platform Application, Parallels, pointing out that Windows product keys can come with different terms and conditions.

Highlights of the new features in Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac.
Highlights of the new features in Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac.

Users can choose to make Windows look like a PC (full screen) or make Windows invisible (coherence mode), while launching Windows apps from the Mac Dock, Launch Pad or Windows Start Menu.

Parallels Desktop 13 provides Mac Touch Bar integration for Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as browsers including Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. Additionally, when using the Windows Start Menu or Desktop, Parallels Desktop 13 features Taskbar pinned elements, along with Cortana, Task View and settings in the Touch Bar. Thousands of other Windows applications that run in Parallels Desktop can quickly be customised with popular Touch Bar actions, if the default set of functional keys is inadequate for users.

Parallels Desktop can also build on Windows tools as well. Parallels Desktop 13 integrates People Bar (from Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16232), a forthcoming Windows 10 feature that lets users pin contacts to the Taskbar. Although Windows limits People Bar contacts to three, the Mac Dock does not limit favourite contacts and enables their photos to be larger for easy viewing.

New Parallels Desktop 13 innovations include picture-in-picture (PiP) view, a feature which creates windows of other active VMs - as many as the RAM will support, says Schmucker. The PiPs are always visible on top, even when a Mac app is in full screen mode. This allows users to monitor and work in multiple operating systems (OS) and their applications simultaneously on one screen, or watch a video while switching between macOS Spaces and applications. PiP view joins popular Parallels Desktop customisation settings such as coherence (Windows is invisible while using Windows apps on a Mac), full screen mode, and Window mode (Windows in a window in macOS).

The latest version of Parallel Desktop provides a number of visual and display improvements for improved transitions and better scaling resolution. Owners of high-resolution Retina displays enjoy greatly improved sharpness of text and graphics in scaled mode.

Significant performance improvements include:
  • Up to 100% performance improvement for external Thunderbolt SSD drives (near native performance)
  • Up to 50% faster Snapshot creation for VMs with a large amount of memory
  • Up to 47% faster working in Windows files in Windows on rotational discs
  • Up to 47% faster working with Windows files on a Mac 
  • Up to 40% faster USB device performance in most scenarios
  • OpenGL 3 support added for DIALux evo professional lighting design software and the strategy game Northgard 

In addition to the overall improvements to Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac, Parallels has upgraded Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro and Business Edition. Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition include a complimentary concurrent subscription to both Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Parallels Toolbox for Windows as well as Parallels Access. Version 2.0 of the Toolbox features 32 tools, up from 20 previously. Toolbox utilities for Windows and Mac include:
  • Clean Drive – easily free up disk space 
  • Presentation Mode – Prevent embarrassing notifications, desktop reveals of personal files, and screen saver lockout delays during the presentation – in just one click. (Mac only) 
  • Download Video – Download video from YouTube, Facebook and other websites for watching later
  • Find Duplicates – Search any drive or folder to quickly find identical files (even with different names), and free up disc space
  • Record Screen – Capture video of the entire screen, a window or select area – which can include audio from the integrated computer microphone – in one click.
"(Each tool does) one thing really well: just use it and get on with the work, that's the philosophy of the tools," said Schmucker. He shared that the Download Video and Record Screen tools are the most popular.


Parallels Desktop, the standard edition, is targeted at homes and students whereas the Pro Edition is for professionals, developers and small teams. The Parallels Desktop Business Edition is for enterprise use and offers centralised administration and management, unified volume licence keys for mass deployment, and advanced security features. View the comparison chart

Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition are available for subscribers and upgraders from Parallels Desktop 11 and 12, as well as new customers, online and at local retail and online stores worldwide. Free 14-day full-featured trials of Parallels Desktop are also available for download.

The recommended retail price (RRP) of Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac is US$79.99. Upgrades for existing Parallels Desktop 11 and 12 for Mac perpetual license customers are US$49.99, with an introductory offer to upgrade to a Parallels Desktop Pro Edition subscription for US$49.99 per year for life. Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition are each available to new customers for US$99.99 per year.
Watch the Instavideo of the PIP view feature in action. Schmucker shows Windows XP and Windows 10 VMs running simultaneously with a Mac OS in the demo