Today’s “Deal of the Day” is Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac. Parallels Desktop 7 is the latest release from Parallels virtualization program, which allows users to run Windows, Linux, and even OS X Lion directly within Mac OS X.
If you’re already familiar with Parallel, the first thing that you will notice with Parallels 7 is that it is much faster than previous versions. Both booting up and resuming Windows applications feels much smoother. If you don’t already have Windows the new install wizard let’s you purchase a copy of it within the app which I thought was pretty cool. You can also snag a free copy of Chrome OS. Another feature that mostly developers will be interested in is the ability to install another copy of Mac OS X.
Previous versions of Parallels would cause Snow Leopard to run pretty slow especially when switching between OS X and Windows applications. When I tested Parallels 7 with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Lion I noticed a significant reduction in that sluggish feeling.
Parallels doesn’t officially support Windows 8 but I got it up and running without a problem by clicking “Other Windows during installation.
Most user interface features in Lion are also available in Windows. There’s a new full screen app mode that works when you hit the icon in the upper right hand corner of your virtual machine. You can exit full screen mode at the top right corner of the OS X menu bar just like any other Lion app. Switching from Windows back to OS X desktop with a two finger swipe is a breeze.
Mission control functions the same when using Windows applications, especially in coherence mode. When using the standard window view you will see your Windows 7 virtual machine in Mission Control. When you’re using Coherence mode, just like native Lion apps, the individual app windows will appear, allowing you to drag and drop the between your desktop spaces. Interacting with your Windows apps is just as smooth as Lion as long as you don’t have too many of them running at once.
Coherence and Resume
Coherence view mode allows you to access the Windows start menu from the from the Lion menu bar, allowing you to run Windows apps as if they were native. Switching between Lion and Windows apps on Parallels 7 seems to me much smoother and less buggy than previous versions. Once you’ve added your most frequently used Windows apps to launchpad you’ll be able to have them launch in Coherence mode which will make it so you never have to deal with the Windows desktop or start menu.
Overall Parallels Desktop 7 is a huge leap forward from it’s previous version and is absolutely necessary for Lion users. That is for Lion users that want to run the odd Windows app. Parallels 7 usually retails for $119.98 but you can pick up this exclusive deal here for only $79.99.