New Parallels beta with USB 2.0, Disc burning

Written by: Dale Mugford

Categories: News

Parallels Desktop for Mac, the popular choice for virtualization on your Mac has a new beta version available for download now. Beta 2 (3084) has several changes, including partial support for USB 2.0 devices. Parallels Desktop for Mac costs $79, and the beta version is available for registered users who want to give it a try.

This new beta version builds on the functionality of the recent (3036) release, with improved and new features. USB 2.0 support is now provided for devices including hard disk drives, printers and scanners, (which work at full native speeds!). Parallels advises that “isochronous devices” like Bluetooth peripherals and webcams do not yet work, but they’re working on the issue, and we can expect that at some point soon, they will.

You can now burn CDs and DVDs directly in Parallels virtual machines, and play any copy-protected CD or DVD just as you would on a “real” PC. This is a major improvement over the existing capability of virtual optical drives.

Additionally, improvements have been made to “Coherence” mode. “Coherence” lets Parallels run Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock, and integrates the Windows desktop into Mac OS X, blurring the line between Mac OS X and Windows. With beta 2, users can place Windows apps on the Mac desktop or in the application dock; use command+tab to cycle through Windows and Mac applications and use Coherence in either Windows XP or Windows Vista.

There’s better support for using Boot Camp partitions in Parallels Desktop, full support for both FAT32 and NTFS partitions, easier offline configuration, and other changes.

Users who continue to utilize a Boot Camp partition will also appreciate the lack of having to “re-activate” Windows each time you switch between Boot Camp and Parallels. Activate Windows only once and work in both environments.

The install guides and transporter tools continue to become improved and easier to navigate, as well as other features.

Users can appreciate the speed of development in this software, and the overall stability of Parallels in beta form. My initial testing of this beta has been promising, but I have as yet not tried any USB 2.0 devices, or disc burning.

Any MacCast readers/listeners that try the new features, please leave a comment and tell us what you think.

The download is available here.

There are 7 comments on New Parallels beta with USB 2.0, Disc burning:

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  1. cgollner | Dec 23 2006 - 01:28

    CD/DVD burning works. I ended up having to put Nero on as Windows kept giving me an “incorrect function” error. Go windows with the specific and helpful errors. But nero is fine. Windows sees the drive as you would expect it would were it physically connected ie region codes etc.

  2. Jim Gardner | Dec 23 2006 - 02:04

    Dragging a Windows application icon onto the Dock or the OS X desktop doesn’t work for me, neither does Apple + Tab application switching in Windows, although I do see the open Windows apps in the OS X application switcher and dock.

    Intel core 2 due – 2 GB RAM – Tiger latest – paid for version of Parallels.

  3. Dale | Dec 23 2006 - 02:21

    CGollner – glad you worked out the fact that you probably Nero, or an equivalent disc burning utility to burn… Wonder if it’s working correctly in all OSes…

    Jim – Have you installed te latest Parallels Tools? If so, try shutting down and looking at the Preferences for both Parallels and the OS configuration, see if there’s something in there that will tun it on.

  4. aplardi | Dec 23 2006 - 09:24

    The whole “app in dock” thing feels janky. In fact the whole experience feels much more beta than the previous release did, but running in “OS Windows” works great for me with Parallels Tools installed for moving my mouse in and out easier.

  5. Steve S | Dec 29 2006 - 08:29

    I have used eariler beta version 3036, which the coherence work well for awhile, but found that when re-entering the program it would not let me enter due to a previous startup within the program. I removed and downloaded beta 2, problem the coherence button did not work, the disc burning was fine. Parallels tools works well. Running the Windows XP OS works. I removed program and now waiting for the final release.

  6. copy protection | Apr 29 2008 - 11:57

    I was using beta 2 and it’s really cool.

  7. Win | Jun 15 2009 - 04:55

    3084 works greatly,many thanks.