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Parallels to show alpha version of Parallels Server at WWDC

Parallels, makers of the widely successful Parallels Desktop virtualization solution for running versions of the Windows operating system on Intel-based Macs, plans to demonstrate a pre-release version of its upcoming Parallels Server at Apple's developers conference this week.

Parallels Server for Mac will represent the first virtualization solution that lets users run Windows and Linux in virtual servers on an Intel-powered Apple Xserve while simultaneously running Mac OS X Server.

The Renton, Wash.-based software developer will be hosting demonstrations of the alpha software at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif. this week.

Parallels will also be showing off the latest release of Parallels Desktop for Mac —version 3.0 —which delivers 3D hardware support and tighter integration between Windows and the Mac OS X operating systems.

The update to the $80 virtualization solution also introduces cross OS application and file integration with Parallels SmartSelect, coherence 2.0 with shared folders and UI enhancements, expanded support for USB 2.0 devices, and significant improvements to audio quality.

Word of Parallels' intentions for the Apple developer conference arrive alongside expectations that the Mac maker will use the event to show off improvements to its own software solution for running versions of Windows on Intel-based Macs —Boot Camp.

Unlike Parallels Desktop for Mac, which allows users to run the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems simultaneously, Boot Camp currently requires that users reboot their Macs to run Windows applications.

Many have speculated that Apple may announce at the conference its intention to transform Boot Camp into its own embedded virtualization solution in time for the release of Mac OS X Leopard in October. Any such move would threaten the future success of Parallels' solutions.