Parallels Desktop 7 and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a MacBook Air

Apple is pushing its business-focused Apple Retail salespeople to sell Macs to businesses currently running in Windows environments, according to Apple retail employees briefed on the new initiative. Apple Retail Stores, in their business/professional sections, will now have a 27-inch iMac prepared with the Parallels Virtualization Software and Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

Select Apple Retail employees will also be trained on the Parallels and Windows software, and special Parallels demos have been created for Apple Stores. The goal of this new initiative is to push employees to be able to show businesses that currently work on Windows that all purposes of Windows could either be replaced or used (with Parallels) on a Mac computer.

For a number of years, Apple has pushed reasons how a Mac could replace a PC. This was heralded mainly via Apple’s Mac vs. PC ads. This new retail campaign, instead, focuses on the Mac operating system and Windows working together. Apple wants to leave no room for business customers to not know that they could switch to a Mac computer…

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Apple’s website has long had a webpage that discusses how users could run Windows applications on Macs. In the mid-2000s, Apple featured Windows on Macs in its stores to promote OS X’s then-new Boot Camp feature. Boot Camp allows Mac users to install Windows and fully run the operating system without OS X being visible. Parallels, instead, lets the Mac and Windows operating systems run side-by-side simultaneously. Over the past few years, these in-store Macs with Windows and Boot Camp have been removed.

This fall, Apple plans to release a slew of new Macs that could see interest from business and professional users. These launches include a redesigned Mac Pro, and faster MacBook Pros and iMacs. In the near future, we previously reported, Parallels will upgrade its software with new features. A tipster, today, has also let us know that a reference to the new Parallels has appeared on MacMall. Also of potential interest to Mac business and professional users, OS X Mavericks will be released this fall with improved file management and application window sorting tools.

In addition to this Mac push, Apple is moving to heavily promote iPhone sales in its stores. Apple, this week, has also begun a new business apps-focused iPad campaign.