Parallels Desktop 9 improves performance by up to 40 percent, adds cloud support

Parallels Desktop 9 improves performance by up to 40 percent, adds cloud support

Parallels on Thursday announced the upcoming release of Parallels Desktop 9, a new version of its virtualization software that enables you run Windows, Linux and other operating systems on your Mac without having to reboot first, as you do using Apple's Boot Camp software. Parallels Desktop 9 is available today as a $49.99 upgrade for existing customers; the full version will be released on September 5, 2013 for $79.99.

Parallels Desktop 9 sports up to 40 percent better performance than its predecessor, according to the developer (in disk operation, anyway - other functions like startup and shutdown are 25 percent faster; 3D graphics get about a 15 percent bump). Also new is the ability to sync iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and other services between your Mac and Windows virtual machine without having to duplicate files locally.

Windows 8/8.1 support has been added, along with Power Nap support on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Thunderbolt and Firewire storage devices are now supported directly from Windows virtual machines, and you can now print from a Windows application to a PDF document on the Mac desktop - regardless of whether that Windows app supports printing to PDF natively.

Parallels Desktop also remembers full screen settings in multi-monitor setups, has editable keyboard shortcuts, improves Linux integration and sports other enhancements.

On Wednesday Parallels announced Parallels Access, new software that enables you to "applify" Mac and Windows applications running from your computer so you can access them on a remote iPad over a network - it's being offered as a service with a $79.99 annual subscription fee. Parallels Desktop users get an exclusive six-month subscription to the new service.

Is this enough to get you to upgrade? Or are you done with Windows once and for all? Sound off in the comments.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Parallels Desktop 9 improves performance by up to 40 percent, adds cloud support


Can't give up windows completely as some of the games I play only work on windows. It is nice not having to boot over to the windows partition to run them though.

Sounds all round like a great update.

I already have a complimentary six-month subscription to Parallels Access due to being a beta tester, so if I upgrade now, do I get a further 6 months subscription to Parallels Access (making it a full year)??

I *just* heard back via Twitter. The coupon code has no expiration date, so he recommended that I wait until my included 6-month subscription expires, then enter the coupon code. I can live with that.

Hmmm, and I *just* found this –, which doesn't mention anything about coupon codes, all done automatically according to this article.
I just bought the upgrade anyway, couldn't wait any longer. Will report back as to what happens after installation ;)

Oh I could tell you that... :) It automatically installs the agent and starts your first (non-coupon) 6 month subscription.

I went with the bootcamp method because parallels wasn't doing it for me on my retina macbook pro. Maybe I'll give this a try and see if it works better. As far as giving up Windows? Never. It's still my primary OS and I mainly just use chrome in osx. Maybe someday I'll actually commit to switching.

Same here. Parallels performance on my Retina MacBook Pro with Windows 8 was lackluster. And Windows 8.1 DPI scaling didn't work correctly.

Have to keep Windows because my work only gives access to medical ins. info, work schedule, ordering uniforms through IE. Can't access through Google,Safari, etc., only through IE.
After upgrade to Parallels 9, I can no longer get remote access through my iPhone. Hope that gets fixed soon? Didn't use it too often but it was nice to have the few times I did need remote access though. "I" don't have an iPad (although we do have one in the house), because I still use my MacbookAir when traveling. When it dies, i'll get an iPad, but not just yet. Downloaded the iPad app today on the iPad and it worked great. After the free trial is up, I won't pay to have remote access. It would be foolish to pay a yearly fee when I can access anything remotely for free through other means.

Every release same old same old ... 40% ... 50%... 75% ... xx% increase in performance.

Just wondering what is their base line that allows them to come up with these numbers?!!

Anyone found the link for the previous customer upgrades? I can't find it anywhere, and I don't see it on their website either...