from a Parallels press release
HERNDON, Virginia April 6th, 2006 Parallels announced today that it is beginning beta testing for Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac OS X, the first virtualization software that gives Apple users the ability to simultaneously run Windows, Linux or any other operating system and their applications alongside Mac OS X on an Intel-powered Apple computer.
Virtualization software enables users to run multiple operating systems, like Linux or Windows, in isolated "virtual machines" directly on a Mac OS X desktop, giving users the ability to run programs that are only available on those operating systems, without having to give up the usability and functionality of their Mac OS X machine . Each virtual machine operates exactly like a stand-alone computer and contains its virtual hardware, including RAM, hard disk, processor, I/O ports, and CD/DVD-drives.
New and existing Parallels users are welcome to download and evaluate a free, fully-functional 30-day trial of Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac OS X at www.parallels.com/download/mac/. Beta users can submit comments, suggestions and feedback by visiting http://www.parallels.com/en/support/mac/, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Parallels Workstation for MacOS X gives Mac users a viable virtualization solution that will let them embrace widely-used operating systems like Windows and Linux without having to give up the power, usability and familiarity of their Macintosh," said Benjamin Rudolph, Parallels Marketing Manager. "This release underscores our commitment to building solutions that anyone, regardless of budget, technology savvy, or operating system can use to improve productivity and platform flexibility."
The solution takes advantage of Apples inclusion of Intel Core Duo architected chips into all new Macintosh computer models. Because the Intel Core Duo chipset is x86-compatible, the Parallels virtualization engine can easily virtualize the hardware, thus enabling Macintosh users to build virtual machines running nearly any x86-compatible OS, including Windows 3.1-XP/2003, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, and MS-DOS.
Parallels full support of Intel Virtualization Technology, which is included in most new Core Duo chipset, ensures that virtual machine performance is close to near-native and that each virtual machine is stable and completely isolated from other virtual machines and the host physical machine.
The general availability release of the product is expected in the next several weeks.
Apple users should be aware that the Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X works with any Intel-powered Apple computer running Mac OS 10.4.4 or higher. The product is not compatible with PowerPC-powered Apple computers.
Just last month, Parallels introduced its Workstation 2.1 virtualization software for Linux and Windows-powered workstations, desktops and notebooks. The easy-to-use, high-performance software costs $49.99.