Instead of Siri, Cortana comes first to OSX through Parallels Desktop 11. It’s well integrated too, as with Parallels “Coherence mode”, Cortana can live directly on your OS X desktop instead of through a separate virtual machine.
Parallels is the popular virtualization tool for the Mac OS X, and it is now in its 11th iteration. The new Parallels 11 offers speed improvements of up to 50 percent, and a new Travel Mode which extends battery life up to 25 percent while on the go. Other speed and performance improvements include:
- Windows launch and shutdown is up to 50 percent faster
- File operations inside of Windows are improved by up to 20 percent
- Virtual machine suspend is up to 20 percent faster
- Improved network performance
Parallels Desktop 11 empowers Mac users to run Windows 10 and leverage the advantages of Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, Cortana, when using both Windows and OS X. This is the first time that Parallels Desktop has ever made a Windows feature available for OS X applications. Parallels Desktop 11 also provides experimental support for OS X El Capitan prior to its launch, and will fully support the platform shortly after its release.
While there are increasingly more apps that are living on the cloud, or are universal, there are always pesky applications that only support Windows. That’s where Parallels comes in handy. Another common use is for gaming with DirectX10.1 and OpenGL2.1 support. Notably, DirectX 12 seems to be missing for now.
Availability and Pricing
Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac is available now to both current and new Parallels Desktop for Mac users at www.parallels.com/desktop worldwide, and at local retailers including Challenger, EpiCentre, Harvey Norman, iStudio, NuBox and other Apple resellers in Singapore.
The recommended retail price (RRP) of Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac is S$108.00. Upgrades for existing Parallels Desktop 9 or 10 for Mac customers are S$68.00.
As always, you will require a full copy of Windows alongside a copy of Parallels. If you want, you could grab the Windows Insider Build, which remains free for testers. Head over to https://insider.windows.com/ and sign up. Then install Windows 10 per normal without activation. Once done, go to
Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options > Get Insider builds > Get Started
, then follow the instructions on the screen to switch to Insider Preview builds.
You are however not limited to Windows, there’s free OS alternatives such as ChromeOS, Ubuntu, Android as well that you can run as a virtual machine with Parallels.