Mac: Parallels Desktop — one of our favourite virtualisation apps for the Mac — has upgraded to version 8. The latest update includes support for both Mountain Lion and Windows 8, making it easy for Mac owners to run an OS X environment while accessing Windows apps.
On the Mountain Lion side, you can use Dictation in Windows apps, drag and drop attachments into Windows email clients and other apps, see notifications from Windows within Notification Centre, and add Windows apps to Launchpad and Mission Control. Sites and apps which require Internet Explorer can be launched from Safari with one click (this feature doesn’t work in Chrome or Firefox, alas). You can use Mountain Lion gestures in Windows apps, and choose whether Windows 8 apps run full-screen or within the Mac environment. A ‘sticky mouse’ option makes it easier to access Windows 8 hot corners.
Current Parallels user can upgrade from today for $US50. The retail version will go on sale from September 5 for $79.95. There’s also a student edition for $49.95 (this is only available from specified retailers and you need to produce student ID to purchase it). The Switch to Mac version, which includes a transfer cable for moving data from a Windows PC and tutorial videos to help new Mac owners switching from Windows, is $99.95.