Parallels Desktop 16 is out for Mac today. It is the latest major release of software used by developers and others to run Windows, Linux and macOS applications, and virtual machines in macOS. Its most notable offering is full support for macOS Big Sur.
According to the Parallels representative Ars spoke to, supporting Big Sur is no small task: Big Sur has ended support for third-party kernel extensions that Parallels has built. That means a massive amount of work to play well with Big Sur – 25 years of human engineering work, they claim.
In addition to Big Sur support for both servers and virtual machines, Parallels Desktop 16 has a slightly different interface to match the other look Apple has used in Big Sur.
While Big Sur support is the flagship feature here, there is a list of minor improvements in this release. For example, Parallels Desktop 16 supports 3D in Metal applications when running macOS Big Sur virtual machine on macOS Big Sur server.
The printer can be shared between host and virtual machine across operating systems, and supports multitouch pan and zoom gestures for Windows apps with zoom / turn. Parallels Desktop 16 also promises faster performance than previous versions; it claims up to twice as fast launch and 20% improvement in DirectX performance, as well as 75% faster “git status” in Linux virtual machines. Support for newer versions of OpenGL has extended Windows applications that will run in virtual machines through Parallels.
Pro Edition users can now name their custom network, and they can export the virtual machines in a compressed format that Parallels claims to be a fraction of their pre-compressed size. In addition, Parallels has introduced a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio to simplify testing on different operating systems.
We asked about any plans to support Windows on Apple Silicon in Big Sur, but a Parallels rep declined to talk about that, saying that they will discuss it at a later date.
Parallels Desktop 16 will be available starting today. The Standard Edition is purchased once for $ 99.99, while the Pro and Business Editions require a $ 99.99 subscription per year. Upgrading from Parallels Desktop 14 or 15 to the new version costs $ 49.99 a time for the standard version.
That bundle includes the Parallels Toolbox, which was recently updated with new tools and features. These include screen breakers, unit converters, and display window and screen manager options for Macs.
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