Parallels Virtual Machine Loads Windows, OS X On Intel Macs

Parallels launches virtualization software that lets users run Windows and Linux alongside Mac OS X.

April 6, 2006

2 Min Read
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Just a day after Apple Computer unveiled its Boot Camp dual-boot program, on Thursday a Herndon, Va. company launched virtualization software that lets users run Windows and Linux alongside Mac OS X.

The beta Mac OS X port of Parallels Workstation 2.1 can be downloaded as a free 30-day trial, Parallels Inc. announced on its Web site. The software works only on Intel-based Macs, and when it goes final later this month, it will cost $50 per system.

"Workstation for Mac OS X gives Mac users a viable virtualization solution that will let them embrace widely-used operating systems like Windows and Linux without having to give up the power, usability, and familiarity of their Macintosh,” said Benjamin Rudolph, the company's marketing manager, in a statement.

It is the first commercial virtual machine software for Intel Macs; Microsoft's Virtual PC works only on older PowerPC-equipped systems, for instance, and all other options come from open-source projects.

According to Parallels, the virtual machine program supports Intel's Virtualization Technology, which is included in the Core Duo chipset that powers the new Macs. "[This] ensures that virtual machine performance is close to near-native, and that each virtual machine is stable and completely isolated from other virtual machines and the host physical machine," the company said Thursday.Parallels Workstation 2.1 doesn't support file sharing between a Windows or Linux virtual machine, and the machine's native Mac OS X., but a special utility allows for cutting and pasting between Macintosh and Windows applications.

The 17.5MB trial edition of Workstation 2.1 can be downloaded from the Parallels site. It requires an Intel Mac running OS X 10.4.4 or later, and an activation key that can be obtained by providing an e-mail address.

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