Call it the coming together of two worlds; a marriage if you will! Today Mac launched the new Parallels Desktop 12, which allows users to use both Mac and Windows together at the same time on their computer. No longer are Mac users forced to choose one operating system at a time. With Parallels Desktop 11, both OS X El Capitan and Windows 10 can run side by side, allowing you to pick and choose which programs you want to use, anytime you want to.
New Features in Parallels Desktop 12
Another highly-lauded feature of Parallels Desktop 12 is the appearance of Cortana, Windows virtual personal assistant. Cortana can be accessed through the Windows 10 desktop, through voice control with Windows 10, or an application made specifically for OS X. Cortana can help you schedule appointments, makes searching the web easy, can give you up to date traffic information, and remembers your preferences and interests to suggest things you might like, amongst a myriad of other useful features. She will even sing you a song if you ask her nicely.
Other new features of Parallels Desktop 12 include more efficient battery usage extending time between charges, Quick Look viewer for Windows documents, faster start-up and shut down times for Windows 10, and faster file transfer between Windows 10 and OS X. Parallels Desktop 12 also includes support for Linux and Google Chrome and has a new Travel Mode that conserves battery life while you are away from the charge.
Special Editions of Parallels Desktop 12 Pro Edition
There is also a Parallels Desktop 12 Pro Edition for computer professionals that need more in-depth tools than the average user. Pro Edition includes support for cloud sharing, advanced networking and debugging tools, support for popular developer tools, and better virtual machines. There is also a Parallels Desktop 12 Business Edition for those looking to license a number of machines, and it includes 24/7 phone and email support along with centralized management and licensing keys.
Cost of Parallels Desktop 12
While Parallels Desktop 12 brings a lot of new features to the table for Mac users, it does come with a price tag. It costs $49.99 if you are upgrading from a previous version or $79.99 if you’re not. Both the Pro Edition and Business Edition of Parallels Desktop 12 cost $99.99 per computer. The cost for an upgrade may not sit well with some of the Mac community, many of which paid for an upgrade to Parallels 10 less than a year ago.
Pros and Cons of Parallels Desktop 12
For those considering whether or not to go for the upgrade, the answer lies in how important these new features are to them. The most desirable feature of Parallels Desktop 12 to most people will likely be Cortana, particularly because the OS virtual assistant Siri has yet to be made available on Mac computers. The added ability to simultaneously use both OS X and Windows 10 programs is undoubtedly a useful feature, but it may be less useful to those who rarely use Windows-based programs. The improvement of background functions, like processing speed, start up speed, and battery management, are extremely useful to everyone, and definitely make Parallels Desktop 12 a download worth considering.