Parallels Desktop 17 was released today, bringing native support for Windows 11 and macOS Monterey to both Intel and Apple silicon Macs, as well as a range of performance and compatibility improvements.
It’s worth noting from the off that the versions of Windows that Parallels 17 can run on an M1 Mac are currently limited to the Insider Previews for Windows 10 and Windows 11, due to their compatibility with ARM-based hardware. However, Parallels has promised that when Windows 11 is officially released to the public, the virtualization software will be able to run it.
With that caveat, for both M1 and Intel systems, Parallels 17 resumes Windows and Linux up to 38% faster compared to the previous version, and benefits from a sixfold increase in OpenGL graphics processing and up to a 25% improvement in 2D graphics performance, according to the company.
If you’re running it on an Apple silicon machine, expect 33% faster Windows startup times, up to 20% better disk performance on Windows 10 Insider Preview, and up to 28% faster DirectX 11 performance.
Elsewhere, Parallels has improved its Coherence mode, which lets you run a windows app without launching the full virtual machine. Coherence will now window shutdowns, updates, and sign-in screens, while drag-and-drop between Windows and Mac apps has been enhanced, with support for dragging text and images between windows, including support for Quick Notes in Monterey.
M1 users can also now use BitLocker and Secure Boot thanks to a virtualized TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip. Windows 10 will also recognize macOS battery status and turn on battery saving mode when your Mac runs low on battery.
Parallels Desktop 17 has moved entirely to a subscription model, which means the standard edition costs $79.99 per year, while Pro and Business Editions are available for $99.99 per year. Users who purchased a perpetual license for an earlier version of Parallels Desktop can upgrade to Parallels Desktop 17 for $49.99. A free trial is available to download from the Parallels website.