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Parallels Desktop 17 announced - Apples M1 chip and Windows 11 enable impressive new features

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Wed 11 Aug 2021

Parallels announce Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac, with new features for running native Windows applications on Macs with Apple M1 and Intel chips. 

Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac is now a universal binary application optimised for the Windows 11 and macOS Monterey operating systems. It ships with several graphic improvements, an enhanced Windows gaming experience, and is the world’s first macOS Monterey virtual machine to run on the Apple M1 chip.

According to Parallels, the latest release brings speed and graphic improvements, an enhanced Windows gaming experience, and better resource management and visibility.

“Our breakthrough of seamlessly running Windows 10 applications on Apple M1-based Mac computers was just the start of Parallels Desktop for Mac’s new chapter,” says Parallels senior VP of engineering and support, Nick Dobrovolskiy. 

“Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac continues to deliver performance and stability improvements as well as innovative, easy-to-use features on Intel and Apple M1 Macs, offering users the most advanced Windows-on-Mac experience ever. 

“In collaboration with Apple, we’re thrilled to have created the world’s first prototype of a macOS Monterey virtual machine running on a Mac with the Apple M1 chip.”

Parallels Desktop 17 will support macOS Monterey as a host and guest operating system and is optimised for Windows 11, with both new OS's expected later this year. 

The company says applications now run faster and more efficiently with performance enhancements including:

  • All supported Macs: Up to 38% faster Windows, Linux and macOS resume, OpenGL graphics perform up to 6 times faster, and up to 25% faster 2D graphics in Windows.
  • Macs with the Apple M1 chip: Up to 33% faster Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview start, up to 20% faster Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview disk performance, and up to 28% better DirectX 11 graphics performance.
  • Macs with Intel processors: Up to 60% faster network connections on macOS Big Sur (and newer) virtual machines.

The new M1 chip allows for several new features. Windows can now recognise Mac battery status and enable battery saving when the Mac runs low of charge. And the new virtual TPM chip allows Windows 10 and Windows 11 to use BitLocker and Secure Boot for a higher level of data protection. 

The latest version also provides multichannel sound support and jack presence detection with native drivers in Linux VMs. And the ability to use a Linux virtual machine in a windowed view mode with dynamic resolution support, when you resize the VM window, Linux will automatically refresh the display for the new resolution. 

Other notable features include the ability to drag and drop content between Windows and Mac seamlessly and a number of new tools for Parallels Toolbox, included in Parallels Desktop subscriptions. 
 

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