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Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac Out—Still Runs Revit Just As Good

The latest version of Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac offers designers and architects access to the few remaining big CAD and design applications not yet available on OS X, while offering far more in multi-VMs support for legacy, Linux, Xbox and more…


In the architecture world, Architosh has been aware of Parallels Desktop for Mac’s pivotal role over the past five or so years—and an increasing role—of supporting Mac-based architects and designers who steadfastly choose to remain on Apple’s computer platform despite new or emerging critical needs to support Windows-only applications.

These Windows-only applications have tended to be applications other than AutoCAD (the original value prop for Parallels on the Mac) as that application has been native on Mac OS X for over a half decade. Instead, the key role in architecture has been support for Autodesk Revit, the dominant BIM application in the United States.

Parallel Desktop 12 for Mac

Here in the Boston area several notable firms are using Revit on Macs on Parallels—not Boot Camp. It gives these firms the ability to stay in the OS X space, access Mac applications and run them in tandem with Autodesk Revit. With the release of version 12, Parallels Desktop for Mac provides an additional 25 percent performance boost.

01 - A screen shot of Parallel's New Virtual Machine wizard.

01 – A screen shot of Parallel’s New Virtual Machine wizard.

We haven’t written about Parallels in quite some time so we want to update readers more fully on what is capable with this software emulation program. First, let’s cover the version 12 updates. Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac includes:

  • Industry-leading backup solution Acronis True Image, which includes fast incremental backup feature with up to 500 GB of free online storage.
  • Scheduled Windows Maintenance option — so Windows Updates and maintenance can take place overnight rather than at disruptive moments in a user’s workflow
  • Ability to Purchase Windows 10 — simply install it via the Parallels Desktop Wizards
  • Up to 90 percent faster Snapshot creation
  • Up to 60 percent faster suspend of VMs (virtual machines)
  • Up to 25 percent faster Shared Folders performance

Parallels Toolbox for Mac also has 20 new utilities featured in all editions of Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, making it easy to perform common tasks with simple single-function tools for both Mac and Windows virtual machines. With Parallels Access you can access up to five PCs or Macs from an unlimited number of iOS and Android devices with native touch gestures, plus access from any device with a modern HTML5 web browsers.

“Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac joins our long history of innovations in ease of use and personalization,” said Jack Zubarev, Parallels president. “In addition to delivering our best Windows-on-Mac performance and experience, Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac simplifies a number of everyday tasks for millions of our customers in all walks of life.”

02 - Support for macOS Sierra as either host system or main system (i.e.: Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac runs on Sierra)

02 – Support for macOS Sierra as either host system or main system (i.e.: Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac runs on Sierra)

PC and Xbox® game players will get increased support in Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac. Parallels engineers worked with Blizzard Entertainment® and optimized Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac to support Overwatch™, a popular 2016 PC and Xbox game that sold more than 15 million copies in just over two months. Parallels Desktop also supports the Windows 10 Xbox app, enabling people to stream and play Xbox games on their Mac devices.

Parallels Desktop Supports Architects and Designers

Parallels Desktop for Mac has long ago optimized support for CAD and designers working with powerful professional applications, such as Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit and many others. Today architects and designers are using Parallels also to access a few other applications of note.

One such application of note has been McNeel’s Rhino 3D. While Rhino on Mac is now fully native as a commercial shipping product, the Mac version will not catchup to the Windows version with all the support extras until version 6. In particular, Grasshopper on Windows is a more robust version of the native version of Grasshopper for Mac. Also in the Rhino+Grasshopper world are several other extensions and tools that are currently Windows only applications. Due to the massive rise in popularity of algorithmic or computation design tools in the world of AEC, utilization of Parallels gets designers and architects on the Mac covered in these important areas.

Coherence Mode

Today folks who work with Parallels Desktop on Mac work predominantly in something called “Coherence Mode” which means that you can run Windows and Mac apps side by side in the same space. In fact, a company video of the feature says that 76% of users run Parallels this way. (see video below).

In Coherence Mode the Windows environment goes away and Windows apps appear isolated in their own windows floating in the Mac OS X environment. This is one of the best features of Parallels Desktop for Mac. Other features beyond what was listed in this update that readers may want to know about is the ability to run multiple VMs (virtual machines) on the same system. There is support for Chrome OS, Ubuntu Linux, Android, and Fedora Linux, among others, including Mac OS and multiple versions of Windows—running all at the same time.

To learn more about Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac, visit here.

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