Desktop Parallels 16 released on Mac today. It is the largest release of software used by developers and others to run Windows, Linux, and macOS applications and virtual machines under macOS. Its most notable offer is full support for macOS Big Sur.
According to Parallel representatives, with whom Ars spoke, supporting Big Sur was no small task: Big Sur ended support for third-party kernel extensions that built the parallels. That meant a lot of work was required to play well with Big Sur – 25 years of engineering work, they claimed.
In addition to supporting Big Sur, for both host and virtual machines, the Parallels Desktop 16 has a slightly different look to fit the different look that Apple has gone through in the Big Sur.
While Big Sur support is the flagship feature here, there is a list of laundries with minor improvements in this version. For example, Parallels Desktop 16 supports 3D applications in Metal when running a MacOS Big Sur virtual machine on a MacOS Big Sur host.
Printers can be split between host and virtual machines across operating systems, and support has been added for zooming and rotating gestures on multitouch trackpads for Windows applications that have zoom / rotation functionality. Desktop Parallels 16 also promises faster performance than the previous version; it claims to launch twice as fast and offer a 20 percent improvement in DirectX performance, as well as a 75 percent faster “git status” on Linux virtual machines. Support for the latest versions of OpenGL has been extended to which Windows applications will run on a virtual machine through Parallels.
Pro Edition users can now name their personalized networks, and they can export virtual machines in a compressed format, for which parallel claims are part of their bias size. Parallels has also launched a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio to simplify testing on various OSes.
We asked about any plans to support Windows on Apple Silicon in Big Sur, but parallel responses declined to talk about it, saying they would discuss it at a later date.
Desktop Parallels 16 will be available starting today. The standard edition is a one-time purchase for $ 99.99, while the Pro and Business Editions require a $ 99.99 subscription per year. Upgrading from Parallels Desktop 14 or 15 to the new version costs $ 49.99 once for the standard edition.
This package includes the Parallels Toolbox, which was recently updated with new tools and features as well. They include a screen crash tracker, a unit converter, and show desktop and window manager options for Macs.
List image from Apple