Virtual machine solution specialists Parallels have announced the imminent launch of the latest iteration of their flagship software kit, Parallels Desktop 13.
According to Parallels’ president Jack Zubarev, “this new release delivers our best-ever Windows on Mac performance, plus innovative and useful new features and tools to help users get more done quickly and efficiently.”
In the past, Parallels have prided themselves on their ability to bring the best new features for Windows to Mac users. However, this time, they’re also playing up the potential for the reverse.
The biggest draw here comes in the form of the new Macbook Touch Bar, which is now supported within virtual machines running on Windows 10.
It’s the first time the feature, introduced with last year’s MacBooks, has been available outside Apple’s own ecosystem and Parallels have built-in both support for all the major native Microsoft applications (as well as most major web browsers). They've even brought in the ability to customize the Touch Bar on an application-by-application basis. At least, to a limited degree. Users can fit their own application-specific layouts, but only from a Parallels-curated set of ingredients.
However, during a demonstration event in Sydney earlier this week, Parallel’s own Kurt Schmucker indicated that the company would be taking into account feedback on how customers made use of this capability - potentially opening a door towards rolling in additional user-driven Touch Bar configurations into future releases.
Parallels Desktop 13 also brings with it new support for MacOS’ Picture-in-Picture mode and promises to leverage the Retina Display found in modern Macbooks to deliver a sharper looking UI within Windows environment.
In addition, the People Bar - a major new feature of the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update - is now supported within the Mac environment. What’s more, this Spotlight and Dock-integrated inclusion boasts stronger scalability. Parallel’s People Bar supports larger profile photos and doesn’t limit the number of visible contacts.