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Parallels rolls out Premium Edition for Mac, official Leopard update

Parallels on Wednesday announced the release of Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Premium Edition in addition to releasing a finalized version of the standard edition that includes complete support Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Both pieces of software allow users to run versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system side-by-side with Mac OS X on any Intel-based Mac.

The new $99 Premium Edition includes a complete virtualization solution that bundles the $79 Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Standard Edition, plus three easy-to-use utilities from leading third-party software companies that help keep Windows virtual computers safe, secure and running smoothly.

The three included utilities, which retail separately for a combined $175, are as follows:

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0

To protect against the viruses, spyware, spam and malware that can harm any Windows machine, even virtual ones, Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 is included with Parallels Desktop 3.0 Premium Edition. Kaspersky offers "Triple Threat" protection, including automated hourly anti-malware updates, intelligent active heuristics that provide proactive protection to investigate all unknown files and real time behavior analysis for consistent monitoring of a system's activities for any malicious behavior.

Acronis True Image 11 Home

Acronis True Image 11 Home is the latest version of Acronis' award-winning backup and disaster recovery software. With Acronis True Image Home, users can easily back up individual files on their Windows virtual machine or take an entire image of their Windows virtual computer. Backups can be scheduled to run automatically at any interval and can be stored on external drives, DVDs and off-site computers via FTP.

Acronis Disk Director Suite

Acronis Disk Director Suite provides the ability to resize, move, copy, split and merge virtual disk partitions without losing data. It includes a boot manager that allows users to boot other operating systems, such as Linux, inside their Windows virtual machine.

Meanwhile, current Parallels Desktop 3.0 customers will receive the finalized Leopard-compatible build of the software as a free automatic update starting Wednesday (today). Those customers can also download the update manually from Parallels' website.

In addition, the company is offering several holiday specials that include free iTunes gift cards and other incentives.