Dual Operating System 

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While oil and water are incompatible, the two major players in the arena of operating systems can co-exist on a single computer as Parallels has proven with its Desktop software.

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Firmly established as the top-selling software for running Windows applications on a Mac system, Parallels Desktop is now available in its version 14 offering for the Mac with its 2018 release.  As with the previous version of Parallels Desktop, the software does require a MacOS base in order to operate.  The version 14 of Parallels Desktop is available in Standard, Pro Edition and Mac Business Edition varieties for subscribers, upgraders plus new customers who are keen to enter this dual operating environment.

Setting up the dual operating system arrangement can be a little time consuming as the various stages of the process are worked through but for most of the time your role is little more than that of a silent partner as the Parallels developed wizards will make all the major decisions regarding settings and the like.  The Parallels software will take over once you have selected your choice of the operating system to work within the MacOS environment.  This could be a version of Windows, Chrome OS, Ubuntu or Android.

There is one particular stage of the setting up operation that will require you to take over and that is the selection of your chosen favourite Windows applications.  Adding such applications will follow the normal procedure although you might need to involve the use of a flash drive and digital downloads if, like me, your Mac hosting device lacks an optical drive for accessing the software.

While you might be of the opinion that housing two operating systems, plus an assortment of appropriate and associated applications would be a heavy load for your Mac computer’s storage capacity, the Parallels Desktop 14 has been optimised to help in this respect.  This new Version 14 offering comes with a new “Free Up Disk Space” feature.  This facility suggests possible storage-saving actions that can result in a reduction of up to 15% in the amount of space taken up by the virtual machines existing on the MacOS / Windows environment. 

Saving space is not the only enhancement aspect of the Parallels Desktop software.  Following the introduction of the Mac Touch Bar feature to the Windows side of the equation in the previous version of Parallels Desktop, this latest offering comes with a number of addition control sets for popular Windows applications.  You now get sets for Microsoft Visio and OneNote plus StetchUp, AutoCAD, Revit, Quicken, QuickBooks and Visual Studios.  There is nothing to stop you from attempting to add other applications to the Touch Bar family.  To help with this task, Parallels has developed a Touch Bar Wizard which allows for the customised of easily accessible shortcut function keys of favourite Windows applications.

Improving the appearance offered by Parallels Desktop version 14, there is improved OpenGL support for enhanced graphics.  This improvement should be especially noticeable when dealing with multiple high-resolution external displays including those capable of delivering 4K output. Windows is now able to borrow and use more than 2GB of Mac system memory to aid its performance.  There is also support for 4K shared camera operation.

Overall Parallels has made some impressive claims with regards to aspects of the Desktop software’s speed performance.  These speed improvements are listed in the table below.

Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac
Up to 200% improvement on the iMac Pro With audio and video encoding, AI, 3D modelling, cryptography and complex math calculations
Up to 80% Application launch
Up to 10% Faster boot time
Up to 30% Faster suspend operation on APFS partition
Up to 130% More frames per second in Shared Camera
Up to 17% More frames per second in Coherence view mode

A free 14-day full featured trial version of Parallels Desktop 14 is available for testing.  The recommended retail price for Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac is £69.99 on an annual subscription or £79.99 for a perpetual license  Users of version 12 or 13 can upgrade for £34.99 for either a perpetual or subscription basis.  The Mac host system will need to be running an Intel Core 2 Duo or better processor with a recommended 8GB of RAM and a minimum of 600MB of hard disk space for the initial set up running MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 and later.

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Comment by Nancy Wilson, Oct 12, 2018 4:50

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OverallParallels Desktop 14 rated 84 out of 100

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