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Parallels Desktop 17 will allow Mac users to run Windows 11 on their computers

As of the release of Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac, Windows 11 support for Apple's new M1-based systems has been officially established; all that is required now is for Microsoft to make its operating system available for such use.

Parallels Desktop is now being used to run more than 200,000 Windows applications on Macs, according to the company, and is available as a Universal Binary that can be used on both Apple Silicon and Intel-based Macs, the company said.

The use of Parallels on an M1 Mac results in some of the most interesting performance enhancements. Windows will launch faster at that point, and you will notice significantly faster graphics with higher frame rates in both 2D and 3D gaming. The new QuickNotes feature from Apple can also be used with Windows-based applications.

On Intel Macs, one important limitation is that Parallels will work with macOS versions up to and including High Sierra; however, M1 Macs must be running Big Sur or later. You'll also find that Intel Macs will support a wider range of guest operating systems, primarily because ARM support is only available through Windows 10, 11, Monterey, and the Linux distributions Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian GNU, and Kali, among others.

Will Microsoft make the ARM available?

It is the fact that Microsoft has not yet officially released the ARM version of Windows for sale that is the most significant obstacle for Mac users hoping to use Parallels to support Windows 11 on their systems.

However, Microsoft has made no official announcement regarding its plans to sell the ARM version of Windows to Mac users for use with Parallels, despite the fact that the Windows 11 Insider Preview works flawlessly on Apple's computers, including those powered by the M1 processor. Parallels has made the installation process simple.

In addition, it is worth noting that Parallels will now allow you to run macOS Monterey as a virtual machine, allowing you to run two Macs on a single computer, which may be useful for a variety of reasons, including application testing or if you need to run Monterey for testing before migrating to the OS on your primary Mac. It is also possible to run Mac operating systems as far back as High Sierra, version 10.13.

The Parallels highlights

Parallels is still a powerful system for running virtual operating systems on your Mac, but it has received significant improvements in this release, including the following:

Parallels now provide significantly faster performance for applications running on guest systems. On all Macs, expect a 38 percent speed boost, with M1 machines sometimes outperforming Windows systems. The improvements in performance are even more noticeable on M1 Macs, but they are noticeable on all Macs. Because of the excellent performance, it is easy to see how far Parallels has come since it first introduced support for Windows on Macs. This virtual machine is also extremely usable.

Improved graphics: OpenGL graphics on a supported Mac are up to six times faster than traditional graphics. Graphics performance on an M1 Mac running ARM Insider Preview improves by 28 percent when using DirectX 11 graphics. This, of course, means that Windows-based games can be played on a Macintosh computer. Professional users may prefer to make use of AutoCAD, which is also available. Even when gaming, you can expect a significantly smoother Windows experience.

Improvements to drag-and-drop functionality: You can now drag and drop text and images between Mac and Windows applications as if they were running on the same computer. Coherence mode is used by more than 80 percent of Parallels Desktop users, and it has been enhanced to provide an even more unified experience when running Windows and Mac applications simultaneously.

The following are exclusive features for M1 Macs: When running on a Mac, Windows now recognizes the battery status of the computer, and you also get a better windowed experience when running Linux on your computer. You'll also notice significant improvements in the speed of your computer's start-up, graphics, and disk performance.

Something for those who work in the corporate world

Parallels has made a number of other enhancements, but one that will be of particular interest to businesses that use Macs in conjunction with legacy Windows applications is support for corporate virtual machine provisioning to any Mac, which Parallels has added in its latest release.

This allows administrators to provision pre-configured Windows virtual machines to fleets of Macs (both Intel and Mac). The idea behind this is that your company can provide Windows access to everyone in your organization. Parallels Desktop 17 Business Edition ($99.99/year) includes this support as part of the package.

Additionally, the new virtual TPM chip, which enables Windows running on a Mac to use BitLocker and Secure Boot, may be of interest to enterprise users as an added security measure. This means that your information is a little bit more secure.

A new feature of Parallels is an automatic resource manager, which optimizes the settings for each individual installation. Businesses and educational institutions that wish to deploy a VM to multiple Macs will find this feature particularly useful, as it eliminates the need for IT to optimize each Mac individually.

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