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New Parallels Version Released, With Improved Graphics To Run Games

The new version supports tighter integration between Mac and Windows, allowing applications in one environment to open documents in the other.

Parallels on Thursday released Version 3 of its popular software that lets users run operating systems including Windows or Linux on Intel Macs. The new version is designed to support improved graphics to run Windows game.

Parallels Desktop 3.0 runs the guest operating system on Mac OS X.

The new version includes SmartSelect, which allows any OS X or Windows application to open any file type, regardless of whether that file is on the Mac or Windows desktop. "For example, if a user sets Word for Windows to be the default application to work with .doc, .rtf and .txt files, he or she could simply double click a file with that extension in either OS -- even if it is an e-mail attachment in Apple Mail or Entourage -- and instantly open the file in Word for Windows," Parallels said in a statement.. "A user could also configure SmartSelect to open all hyperlinks clicked in either OS to open in a Mac Web browser, such as Safari or Camino."

The most popular feature will likely be support for hardware-accelerated 3-D graphics, including OpenGL and DirectX. Users will be able to run Windows-only 3-D games such as Quake, Half-Life 2, and World of Warcraft, as well as working in Windows-only 3-D CAD programs, the company said.

The software is available for online purchase, or in the box at retail outlets. The standard retail price is $79.99, and new users can test it for free for 15 days. Users of previous versions can upgrade for $49.99.

We reviewed Parallels 2 last month and found it to be an extraordinary product, but with some incompatibilities with the Mac that proved frustrating.

Meanwhile, VMWare lets you run Windows and Linux side by side; we recently ran tips to set it up.