Updated August 19th, 2015: Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac has just been released!! You can pick up Parallels Desktop 11 for Home and Student Use for $79.99 or the all new Pro Edition of Parallels Desktop 11 for $99.99 (specifically for developers, designers and power users, as well as a Mac Business Edition – formerly known as Mac Enterprise Edition – for IT administrators). You’ll also be able to download the trial version from parallels.com and test it out for free for 14 days.
For those of you on the edge and may be interested in switching to VMware Fusion, they are offering 28% off and a free upgrade to Fusion 8 once it’s released in the next few weeks. If you’ve recently purchased or upgraded to Desktop 10 anytime on or after July 29, 2015, then you may be entitled to a free upgrade under their tech guarantee.
In terms of the new features, this new edition of Parallels Desktop for Mac benefit from speed improvements up to 50% and extended battery life up to 25% in Travel Mode – and will also support Windows 10, Microsoft Cortana and OS X® El Capitan.
Updated July 28th, 2015: Parallels’ Australian site accidentally leaked one of their product pages for a few hours yesterday… and according to it, Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac will support Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant throughout OS X as long as you have Windows 10 running in the background. That means you’ll just be able to say “Hey Cortana” and you’ll receive a response. Best of all, from what we understand, Windows 10 will just need to be running in the background, including having it minimized or hidden.
Other improvements according to the leak include, as expected, Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan support. Parallels 11 also boasts a 50% improvement in speed and better battery life. You’ll also get improved file associations, real-time location support in Windows, and improvements to Windows printin.
In terms of the release date, we still believe that it’ll come out sometime after OS X El Capitan, even though Windows 10 will be released in a few days.
Here’s the screenshot from leaked Parallel’s page before it was pulled down a few hours later:
Updated May 14th, 2015 – It’s that time again when we begin our countdown to the next release of Parallels, this time being Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac. While it’s still too early to provide any specifics about this release, including the beta signup which has not yet been announced in the Parallels Forum, what we do expect is a release date similar to what we’ve seen the last few years; the new version is expected to be announced between the end of August and the first week of September, 2015. That’s also the time that you’ll see Apple’s next OS X update as well as the VMware Fusion 8 (Parallels’ top competitor).
If you’re interested in being notified the moment Parallels 11 is released then be sure to sign up to our release date notifier list (located at the right side of this page). All we need is your name and email address.
Here’s a look at the past few releases:
- Parallels 10 – Released on August 20, 2014.
- Parallels 9 – Released on September 5, 2013.
- Parallels 8 – Released on September 4, 2012.
- Parallels 7 – Released on September 6, 2011.
- Parallels 6 – Released on September 14, 2010.
- Parallels 5 – Released on November 4, 2009.
Will there be a free upgrade to version 11?
In general, the short answer is no… There are no free upgrades from Parallels. All upgrades are priced for a little less than the full version, but you only buy it at their official store because all resellers only carry the full versions. Just keep in mind that sometimes you’ll save more with a Parallels-Windows bundle, like this one at Amazon.
The only exception is the upgrade rule is if you bought an outgoing version of Parallels 10 right before the new one was released. It’s called their Tech Guarantee and it’s two or three week window (this varies year-to-year) before the new version is released where you can qualify for a free upgrade. We don’t yet have the details for this year’s policy buy here’s a look a last year’s Tech Guarantee and how it worked.
What we would like to see changed in Parallels 11.
All of us here at Software Voucher primarily work on Mac’s so without Parallels (or VMware Fusion, some of us use it instead) we would have to switch to our PC’s when writing most of our software reviews and testing the new releases. But with that said, there are a few things that really bug us with program. Here are the top things that we would love to see changed in version 11:
- Stop forcing the upgrades – When you buy Parallels be aware that it’s not a program that you buy once and that’s it; Parallels provides operating system support only for two versions back of the software. So in essence, if you’re upgrading your Mac OS at every annual release, your version of Parallels will require you to pay for an upgrade every 12 to 24 months (depending on when you bought software) for $50.00 per computer. If you happen to upgrade your OS but not your copy of Parallels, and you’re running a version that’s not supported anymore by the new operating system, then you won’t be able to run Windows at all anymore, holding all your stuff hostage. The folks at Parallels argue that they need to have this policy to help pay for development costs… but in all reality, the two-version back expiration policy is way too short. And when you think about it, when was the last time you bought a mac software program that just stopped working when a new OSX was released? It’s never happened to us aside from Parallels.
- Remove the in-product ads – Parallels takes advantage of the intimacy that their software has with your Mac and uses it to serve third-party ads to you (kinda like an adware). And it really doesn’t matter what you’re doing, like watching a movie, editing some photos, or answering emails, it’ll pop up here and there randomly trying to sell you something (for us, it’s often some Kaspersky antivirus software or telling us to upgrade our copy of Parallels). Now you can select “don’t show me this again” when the ads pops up but you can never turn it off completely in the settings. Customers have been asking for this shady advertising practice to be removed for the last few versions but it seems to only be getting worse.
- Too many icons – If you’ve upgraded from version 9 to 10, then one noticeable difference you’ve probably seen is the extra icons in your dock – You now have the Parallels icon and the Virtual Machine icon. That means that you now a few extra clicks to close the program down when you need to shut down. We find no practical use of have more of “Parallels” in our face in the dock.
- Slow performance in coherence mode – Coherence mode is pretty cool and we were supper excited when we first learned of it (this is the new feature that makes your PC programs look like native Mac apps in the dock). But the problem for us is that it just seems to slow everything down when it’s on. Granted that most of us are on rather lower-ended MacBooks but still, performance really suffers.
- Better battery life – Parallels focused on performance in this last release and overall they were able to beat VMware in most tests. But this can at the price of batter life and overall stability. We hope that at the very least that they can get battery life more in par with Fusion.
- Offer more licenses for users – If you have just one Mac at home, the upgrade cost can be swallowed. But if you have several machines in your household, maybe even multiple per head, then these costs rack up fast as EACH upgrade or full version of Parallels will only let you install the software on one machine. We would love for Parallels to let users to install the program on all of the purchasers personal computers at home just like VMware lets you do.
What do you want to see changed in Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac?
So what do you want to see changed in the newt version of Parallels? Let us know in the comments section below.