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Tuesday August 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac brings Cortana to the Mac with Windows 10, El Capitan support

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Microsoft, PC / Laptop, Software

Parallels Desktop 11 mac

Parallels, the company that makes Parallels Desktop (our favorite software virtualization software for Mac,) has announced the release of Parallels Desktop 11. Interested users can buy Parallels Desktop 11 for $79.99, while users of prior versions 9 and 10 receive upgrade pricing of $49.99. Major operating system support in Parallels Desktop 11 includes support for the latest Microsoft OS, Windows 10, as well as Apple’s upcoming OS X 10.11 El Capitan, which is set to launch this fall.

According to Parallels, users of Parallels Desktop 11 will enjoy 50% faster boot ups and shutdowns of virtual machines, as well as 20% faster file opening. There’s also a new Travel Mode aimed squarely at mobile users what will provide a battery increase of 20%.

However, the big feature being touted is Cortana. If you have Windows 10 running in a virtual machine, even if it’s in the background, Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant is listening for your command. Simple say “Hey Cortana” and you’ll get a response. It’s kind of crazy, but Apple has yet to bring Siri to the Mac desktop, so Parallels brought Cortana over from Windows.

If you’re a power user, there’s a new tier called Parallels Desktop Pro, which provides built-in support for advanced applications like Docker, Chef, and Visual Studio. Here's the full rundown of the Pro edition:

  • Integration with key developer tools, such as Docker, Visual Studio (plug-in), Chef and Jenkins
  • Support for Vagrant and other developer tools
  • Additional user profiles for developers, power users and testers for optimal configuration for their particular scenarios
  • Advanced networking tools and configuration for virtual networks to test complex networking scenarios, including the ability to simulate some network instabilities
  • Cloud storage access through Box.net, Dropbox for Business and OneDrive Business, for sharing from Windows to Mac
  • Headless mode for running virtual machines in the background without user interface
  • Ability to create linked clones to conserve disk space and optimize installations
  • Enhanced memory (64 GB RAM) and processing power (16 vCPU) for improved performance
  • Nested virtualization for Linux guests
  • Modern.IE test environments in the Parallels New Virtual Machine Wizard provide access to free trials of browsers for testing
  • 24/7 phone and email support

You can pick up your preferred version of Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac right now!

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