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Thursday, September 09, 2010, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac to launch Sept. 14 with 80 new features

Calling it the "best Windows on Mac experience yet," Parallels on Thursday formally announced the sixth version of its virtualization software, set to bring more than 80 new features and enhancements when it launches Sept. 14.

The new Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac is claimed to be the most powerful version yet of the best-selling virtualization software. Benchmark tests reportedly show that 3D graphics run nearly 40 percent faster than before, while boot time for Windows is 41 percent faster. The new Parallels Desktop 6 also boosts speed for working with files on USB drives, networks and in shared folders.

"Whether it’s for school, home, work or play, Parallels Desktop for Mac is the #1 choice of customers worldwide," said Serguei Beloussov, Chairman and CEO, Parallels. "Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac delivers again on our proven track record of innovation with over 80 new and enhanced features that provides the fastest, simplest and most immersive Windows on Mac experience ever."

The company also announced Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac edition, which includes the latest version of Parallels, plus new features specifically designed to make the move from PC to Mac easier for users. It also includes a high-speed USB data transfer cable that allows users to move their programs, files, users settings and browser favorites and bookmarks to a Mac

"The Mac is more popular than ever, with millions of people moving to the Mac from Windows," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Parallels does a great job of making it even easier for people to switch to the Mac and allowing them to run Windows applications if they need to, side-by-side with their Mac applications and without rebooting."

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac will be available on Sept. 14 with a standard retail price of $79.99. The student edition will fetch $39.99 while Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac edition will retail for $99.99. However, Parallels is making available today direct downloads of its $49.99 Parallels Desktop 6 Upgrade for customers who already own 5.0. In addition, anyone who purchases Parallels Desktop 5.0 today will be eligible for a free 6.0 upgrade.

Many of the features found in Parallels 6 were reported Wednesday by AppleInsider. The product was also spotted early on the shelves of a Fry's electronics store in California.

Below are the list of new and features highlighted in the forthcoming Parallels Desktop 6:

Faster & More Powerful
  • Launch Time: Run Windows applications 41 percent faster than Parallels Desktop 5
  • Full 64-bit Engine: Take advantage of all of the capabilities of your 64-bit Mac and enjoy the fastest virtual machine performance yet

Immersive Graphics & Audio Experience
  • 5.1 Surround Sound: Savor rich, immersive audio experiences for games, music and videos
  • Enhanced 3D Graphics: Enjoy more life-like visual action and play a wider range of modern games with 40 percent improvement over Parallels Desktop 5

More Manageable
  • Parental Control: Have peace of mind when children are online by applying the same parental controls you set for your Mac to your Windows applications
  • VM Encryption: Protect data from being stolen by using built in virtual machine encryption

Simpler & Smarter
  • Mac Shortcuts: Use Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts to make Windows applications work the way you do
  • Personal Data Migration: Simplifies moving to Mac by automatically moving programs, data and media (i.e. My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos and My Downloads) to the appropriate folders on your Mac
  • Web Browser Favorites: Parallels automatically moves your Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome settings and bookmarks from your PC to the default browser on your Mac
  • Anti-virus Protection: Data protection with Parallels SmartGuard & SafeMode plus leading anti-virus protection for both Mac OS X and Windows with complimentary Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Mac, Acronis True Image Home 2010 and Acronis Disk Director 2011 Home