What you need to know
- Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac is now available.
- It means Mac users can run Windows 11 as a virtual machine for the first time.
- Currently, it supports the Insider Previews of Windows 10 and 11, but official support for the full version of Windows 11 is on the way.
The company announced the release today, stating that Parallels Desktop 17 is now available for macOS as a Universal Binary, meaning it can run on both Apple Silicon and Intel Macs. It also includes optimization for Windows 11, macOS Monterey, and will let users run Windows 11's Insider preview right away on a Mac for the first time.
Along with big compatibility updates in advance of these two new operating systems, the new version of Parallels brings speed and performance enhancements, with up to 38% faster resumes, 6 times faster OpenGL performances, and 25% 2D graphics improvements in Windows. On devices with Apple's M1 chip, the boosts are even bigger, with 33% faster start performance on Windows 10 (ARM Insider Preview). 20% faster disk performance and 28% faster DirectX 11 performance. Networking on an Intel Mac is now 60% faster on macOS Big Sur and newer.
The new version also has an improved display driver for improved video and gaming, new features for M1 including a battery indicator, and an update to coherence mode which lets Mac users run Mac and Windows apps side-by-side.
Drag and drop between Mac and Windows has also been improved, as has support for USB devices, disk space control, and the automatic resource manager.
The new version is $49.99 to upgrade to the standard edition or $79.99 for a new license, bringing official virtual machine support for Windows 11 to all of Apple's best Macs.