Parallels introduced a big update today for Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. It includes new features for Windows 8 users, full USB 3.0 support, and improved Retina display settings. On top of support for Windows 8 tablet gestures, Parallels is including a Windows 8 tile that allows users to access shared Mac apps. According to Parallels, the update also includes faster USB 3.0 performance, an increased limit for virtual machines running large apps, and “Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode”:

Now Mac users can enjoy new features including Windows 8 tablet gestures and use a Windows 8 interface tile to access shared Mac apps.  These updates, plus the already deep Parallels Desktop 8 integration of Mac OS X and Windows 8, enable people to also use Mountain Lion’s Dictation feature in Windows applications, add Windows apps to Launchpad and the Mac Dock, enjoy brilliant Retina display resolution for Windows apps and more – making Parallels Desktop 8 an ideal way to run Windows 8 on a Mac without rebooting.

Last month, Parallels warned Mac users not to upgrade to Windows 8 until the company finished testing the upgrade process (new installs of Win 8 not included). Parallels said it would notify users through an in-app notification when the upgrade process was ready.

New and expanded features include:

· Support for Windows 8 tablet gestures

· Addition of a single tile to the Windows 8 interface for easy access to shared Mac apps

· Full USB 3.0 support for faster connections to peripheral devices

· Updated Retina display settings for easier screen optimization

· Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode

· Increased virtual machine limits for running large apps

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