If you own a Mac and need access to programs that only run on Windows then you will be more than familiar with Parallels for Mac. The newest version of Parallels – Version 9 puts a Windows 7 style start menu and button to your Windows 8 virtual machine.
This is great news for those running windows 8 as it allows you to change to a Windows 7 style view by installing the Start8 and ModernMix add ons. Start 8 brings back the familiar start menu whilst ModernMix will allow you to run Metro style applications in a window on your desktop. You can download them in the virtual machines settings.
As usual, Parallels are making claims that Version 9 of its software will increase disk performance by up to 40 percent, startup and shutdown times by up to 25 percent as well as web browsing and graphics speed by up to 15 percent. How much these figures equate to in real life is debatable as every version of Parallels have quoted figures increasing speed. We’ve installed the latest Version 9 on our Mac’s and I must say that there are notable speed improvements but this could also be attributed to the fact we are also running Solid State Drives.
With the current release of Parallels Version 9 for Mac it fairly safe to say that VMWare Fusion for Mac will also be releasing an upgraded version as well pretty soon.
According to the Parallels blog, this latest release is based on feedback from customers such as:
Indispensable conveniences. It’s what you expect from Parallels Desktop, where things “just work.” This time, we brought Power Nap and the Dictionary gesture to Windows applications.
Performance. We continue to push the envelope for industry-leading performance.
Cloud. We know your stuff lives everywhere, not just on your hard drive. So we’ve made it easy to work with iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive — from either your Mac or your Windows virtual machine — without duplicating files locally!
Peace of mind. We’re keeping pace with the ever-evolving Mac and Windows. Want to use OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1? They’ll work with Parallels Desktop 9!
Either way, if you haven’t updated in a couple of years now is probably a good time to do so.