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Parallels has a long history of smashing together competing operating systems to help platform-blending organizations move easily between OSes and get things done. The company will do it again with the newest Windows operating system (or service) Windows 10 and OS X Yosemite (yes, Yosemite), but this time with a twist.
Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac brings Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant to the OS X desktop. Obviously, the OS-virtualizing software is also bringing a bunch of other stuff in version 11 (is there any sadness that there will never be a Windows 11?).
Mac Yosemite Iso
See also: Apple OS X El Capitan preview: Better Spaces, transit maps and more
If you haven’t used Parallels software before, it performs the neat trick of putting a fully virtualized version of, now, Windows 10 on a Mac OS X Yosemite system (El Capitan support is in the “experimental” phase). This allows you to run a licensed version of the OS on a Mac and access all the apps that would normally run only in Windows. Bootcamp, by contrast, allows you to run Windows on a Mac, but in a completely separate environment.
It goes further, though, by blending Windows 10 elements into OS X in ways that make them seem almost like part of your Mac. For example, Cortana can pop up from the OS X dock when you say “Hey, Cortana.” You can use it in all the ways you normally use Cortana (news, weather, Web search) and to launch Mac apps. It also adds the new Windows Notification center to the Mac desktop — it sweeps in from the side of the screen, just like on Windows 10.
Parallels Desktop 11 also brings Mac features to the virtualized Windows system, like Quick Look, which you access via the space bar. And if your MacBook has a Force Touch-supporting touchpad, you can use that to quickly access word definitions in Microsoft Word for Windows.
You can also see all files on your Mac in Windows and, according to company representatives, transferring files between the OSes is easy. If you print a Windows file, you’ll have access to the full Mac print dialog box.
Parallels Para Mac Yosemite
The company also promises that this will be the fastest Parallels ever with 50% faster boot and shut down times and a 20% speed bump for task management.
Parallels Desktop For Mac Os X Yosemite
Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac, which is available Wednesday, will support new licensed Windows 10 installations and migrations from existing machines (which will basically ghost the whole system onto your Mac). Standalone Parallels Desktop 11 for the Mac costs $79.99. Upgrade pricing for those using versions 9 or 11 is $49.99. A Pro edition, which adds, for instance, integration with developer tools and cloud storage access, is $49.99 a year.