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Parallels Desktop 18 refines support for Windows 11 and gaming world

According to a good old habit, we see appearing every summer a new version of Parallels Desktop. This popular software designed to virtualize other operating systems on a Mac, is this time in its 18th edition. Among the many improvements, we will especially retain the special attention given to Windows 11 and to the players.

Needless to say, Parallels Desktop 18 is all set for Apple’s newest operating system, macOS 13 Ventura, which is expected to be released in October. There will thus be perfect integration with Stage Manager, a new way for macOS 13 to organize apps and open windows. But that won’t be a problem either, if you’re still running an older operating system as a host: PD18 support indeed dates back to macOS 10.14.

M1 Ultra and ProMotion

Additionally, developer Parallels has optimized the software for Apple’s newest hardware. This is how the latest version is compatible with Apple’s M1 Ultra chip and ProMotion display and Windows 11 is said to run up to 96 percent faster on a Mac Studio computer.

One of the most used virtualizations on Parallels Desktop is obviously that of a Windows PC, whereas in version 18 the focus is explicitly on better support for Windows 11. Users can now with a single click download , install and configure this operating system, provided of course that they have a valid license key. In the Business edition of the software, it is child’s play to implement a virtual Windows 11 machine on the Mac computers of the collaborators.

Parallels Desktop 18 also offers better compatibility of Intel (x86) applications running in Windows 11 on the ARM architecture. This is how the Parallels Tools driver program is now ARM resident, which is important for storing and reading files on Mac disks. Additionally, a fix has been provided for issues when re-storing files to shared folders from Microsoft Office apps. According to the developer, Parallels Desktop already supports more than 200,000 Windows-only programs altogether.

Smoother control

For gaming enthusiasts, Parallels Desktop 18 also offers a few new features. The main one is that they can simply plug the controllers for an Xbox or PlayStation for example into the ‘Mac side’ of their computer via Bluetooth. They are then automatically integrated into the Windows environment as well, including with all the desired settings (up to and including haptic feedback, aka vibrations). And some games that previously didn’t work, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, now run in PD18.

© Parallels

Also note the broader support for USB 3.0, specifically for equipment that depends on live data streaming, such as some webcams, game recording devices, and other video and audio streaming devices (including Elgato HD60 S and SOCT Copernicus REVO).

Prices and versions

Parallels Desktop 18, however, has become noticeably more expensive. The software now costs 99.99 euros in the form of an annual subscription, which represents an increase of 20 euros compared to the previous version. The program can also be purchased separately for 129.99 euros (PD17 was 99.99 euros). The upgrade to an unlimited license is offered at 69.99 euros. There are also more extensive Pro and Business versions for a subscription price of respectively 119.99 and 149.99 euros per year. Finally, let’s mention the free trial version of Parallels Desktop 18, fully functional for fourteen days.

Needless to say, Parallels Desktop 18 is all set for Apple’s newest operating system, macOS 13 Ventura, which is expected to be released in October. There will thus be perfect integration with Stage Manager, a new way for macOS 13 to organize apps and open windows. But that won’t be a problem either, if you’re still running an old operating system as a host: PD18 support indeed dates back to macOS 10.14. from Apple. This is how the latest version is compatible with Apple’s M1 Ultra chip and ProMotion display and Windows 11 is said to run up to as much as 96 percent faster on a Mac Studio computer. One of the virtualizations most used on Parallels Desktop is obviously that of a Windows PC, whereas in version 18 the focus is explicitly on better support for Windows 11. Users can now download, install and configure this operating system, provided of course that they have a valid license key. In the Business edition of the software, it is child’s play to implement a virtual Windows 11 machine on the Mac computers of the collaborators. Parallels Desktop 18 also offers better compatibility of Intel applications (x86) running in Windows 11 on the ARM architecture. This is how the Parallels Tools driver program is now ARM resident, which is important for storing and reading files on Mac disks. Additionally, a fix has been provided for issues when re-storing files to shared folders from Microsoft Office apps. According to the developer, Parallels Desktop already supports more than 200,000 Windows-only programs altogether. For gaming enthusiasts, Parallels Desktop 18 also offers some new features. The main one is that they can simply plug the controllers for an Xbox or PlayStation for example into the ‘Mac side’ of their computer via Bluetooth. They are then automatically integrated into the Windows environment as well, including with all the desired settings (up to and including haptic feedback, aka vibrations). And some games that previously didn’t work, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, now run in PD18. some webcams, some game recording devices, and other video and audio streaming devices (including the Elgato HD60 S and SOCT Copernicus REVO). Parallels Desktop 18 has become noticeably more expensive, however. The software now costs 99.99 euros in the form of an annual subscription, which represents an increase of 20 euros compared to the previous version. The program can also be purchased separately for 129.99 euros (PD17 was 99.99 euros). The upgrade to an unlimited license is offered at 69.99 euros. There are also more extensive Pro and Business versions for a subscription price of respectively 119.99 and 149.99 euros per year. Finally, let’s mention the free trial version of Parallels Desktop 18, fully functional for fourteen days.