Yosemite & Parallels Desktop 10: The Complete Rundown

The Apple engineers have been hard at work which culminated today with the 
release of OS X Yosemite. Congratulations to all the members of the Apple team!

Likewise, the Parallels engineers have been hard at work to bring some of the 
Yosemite goodness to Windows and Windows apps, and that work has also culminated 
today with the release of Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1, version 10.1.0 (28600) in 
engineer-speak.

The main theme of this update is Yosemite integration, so you will need to have 
installed Yosemite to see and take advantage of these new Parallels Desktop 10 
features. Let me tell you (and show you in screenshots) what is waiting for you in 
Update 1. 

Full Support for Yosemite as a Host OS and a Guest OS

In addition to running Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1 on Yosemite, you can also 
run Yosemite in Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1 as a guest OS. Figures 1 and 2 show you 
some examples.

Figure 1: XP and Win8 on Yosemite 

Figure 1: XP and Win8 on Yosemite 

Figure 2: Mavericks, Yosemite & Lion VMs on Yosemite

Figure 2: Mavericks, Yosemite & Lion VMs on Yosemite

Mac Services Available in Both Windows and Office for Windows

The new Yosemite cloud services, iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Stream are 
integrated into both Windows and in Office for Windows. In Figure 3, you can see that 
both these cloud service show up in Windows right alongside other cloud services like 
OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive) and Dropbox. This means that the you don’t 
need to have a Windows folder to synchronize with these services – thus taking up 
space inside your virtual machine.

Figure 3: Yosemite cloud services available inside Windows

Figure 3: Yosemite cloud services available inside Windows

Similarly, these two Yosemite cloud services show up in the “Save As” dialogs in 
Office for Windows apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), as you can see in Figure 4. So, 
there is no extra step required in saving these files to a temporary location, and then 
manually moving them to the desired cloud.

Figure 4: Yosemite cloud services available in Office for Windows

Figure 4: Yosemite cloud services available in Office for Windows

Placing a Phone Call from a Windows App

In Yosemite, you can select a phone number in a document or web page, and 
have the Mac use your iPhone to call that number – an especially cool Yosemite feature! 
Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1 brings this cool feature to Windows apps. You just select 
a phone number, and then choose the “Call the number” menu item from the right-click 
menu, as you can see in Figure 5. The Notification Center on your Yosemite Mac will 
then present a notification which will place this call on your iPhone, as you can see in 
Figure 6

Figure 5: Call a phone number selected in IE

Figure 5: Call a phone number selected in IE

Figure 6: Placing the phone call from a notification

Figure 6: Placing the phone call from a notification

Note that to use this feature your Yosemite Mac and your iOS8 iPhone must be 
on the same wireless network, and both must be connected to iCloud Drive with the 
same Apple ID account.

iMessage and SMS Text Sharing 

In Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1 you can easily send selected text as a tweet, or 
post it to your Facebook page or to LinkedIn with simple menu item in a right-click menu 
– just like in Yosemite. You can see this being done in Figure 7 with text selected in IE. 
No need to re-type or even copy and paste the text.

Figure 7: Sending with Messages from Internet Explorer

Figure 7: Sending with Messages from Internet Explorer

Extensions

Yosemite provides third-party developers with the ability to add “extensions” to 
many parts of the Mac OS, and the Parallels developers have taken advantage of this to 
add new functionality to Spotlight, Notification Center, and QuickLook. In Spotlight 
(Figure 8) and QuickLook (Figure 9), you can see the current state of a virtual machine, 
and even modify its settings. In Notification Center (Figure 10), you can see the 
performance of a running virtual machine and see its resource utilization – how much of 
the CPU power of your Mac it is using and how much RAM it is occupying.

Figure 8: Spotlight extensions for Parallels Desktop virtual machines

Figure 8: Spotlight extensions for Parallels Desktop virtual machines

Figure 9: QuickLook extensions for Parallels Desktop virtual machines

Figure 9: QuickLook extensions for Parallels Desktop virtual machines

Figure 10: Notification Center extension showing the performance for Parallels Desktop virtual machines

Figure 10: Notification Center extension showing the performance for Parallels Desktop virtual machines

Windows 10 Technical Preview

Virtual machines in Parallels Desktop can be a safe, easy way to “try out” a new 
operating system or operating system update. This is especially useful when the 
operating system is still in beta. I have been doing this for years, and I wholeheartedly 
recommend this approach. You never know when a beta (or even an alpha or a early 
preview) operating system will reveal a bug or incompatibility, and when this early OS is 
in a virtual machine, the potential trouble is completely contained in the VM. 

When Windows 8 was in its various preview states (technical preview, developer 
preview, customer preview), the Parallels Desktop team made the installation of these 
early releases a one-button-push install, and LOTS of Parallels Desktop users took 
advantage of this. This showed us that many Mac users wanted to “kick the tires” of the 
next version of Windows, especially when the installation was so easy to do. 

Now that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is available, we decided to make its 
installation just as easy. 

So, Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1 includes the button you can see highlighted in the 
Figure 11. Just click on this button, answer a couple of configuration questions, and we 
will take care of the rest. The installation files for the Windows 10 Technical Preview will be downloaded, it will be installed in a VM, and the VM will be added to your Parallels 
Desktop Control Center, and it will be ready to run. The amount of time this will take 
depends greatly on your Internet connection speed, since the installation files total 
about 4 GB in size.

Figure 11: Windows 10 button in the New VM wizard

Figure 11: Windows 10 button in the New VM wizard

The Windows 10 Technical Preview includes integrated feedback tools, so if you are 
interested in giving Microsoft some feedback on Windows 10, its installation in Parallels 
Desktop 10 just takes a few clicks of your Mac mouse. I’ve already sent them about a 
half dozen pieces of feedback. 

Yosemite Look & Feel

Last, but not least, the user interface of Parallels Desktop 10 Update 1 has been 
refreshed with the Yosemite Look & Feel, including the larger window title bar, the new 
flat icons, and special looks for the new Yosemite “Dark” look. You can see several of 
these changes in Figure 12.

Figure 12: The Yosemite Look & Feel

Figure 12: The Yosemite Look & Feel

Yosemite Has Arrived! Everything You Need to Know + Exciting Features on Parallels Desktop 10

Hello, Yosemite! Image courtesy of Mashable.

Hello, Yosemite! Image courtesy of Mashable.

The hills are alive with the sound of Apple enthusiasts everywhere—Yosemite is finally here!

Gif courtesy of Oh No They Didn't

Gif courtesy of Oh No They Didn't

Believe it or not, we’re just as excited as you are! Mainly because, apart from all of the coolness we know is coming from Apple in Yosemite, this means some exciting new features in Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac. 

Here’s the rundown of Yosemite-only features in Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac:

  • Microsoft Office “Save as…” > Mac Clouds now includes iCloud Drive and Photo Library, in addition to Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Right click on a number in Windows app to call with iPhone
  • iMessage/SMS text sharing from Windows
  • Spotlight and Quick Look view improvements for both Parallels Desktop and virtual machines
  • Yosemite look and feel in Parallels Desktop
  • Notification Center extension lets you monitor your virtual machine

Plus: in addition to the features listed above, you get all of the other great features in Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, which includes powerful performance, the best of OS X in Windows applications, and so much more. Check it out for yourself!

And don’t forget—if you plan to upgrade to Yosemite and are currently running Parallels Desktop for Mac, there are few housekeeping items to check off your list prior to upgrading:

If you're running Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac

If you’re running Parallels Desktop for Mac and are on our latest version (version 10), all you need to do is install the most current update in order to have full support and the new features from Yosemite working in your Windows virtual machine. Thankfully, this is easy to do—simply go to the Parallels Desktop menu, select Check for Updates, and install the latest build. You should do this right before upgrading to Yosemite.

If you're running an older version of Parallels Desktop for Mac

If you’re using Parallels Desktop 9, Yosemite is supported as a host  If you want to use Yosemite as a guest or use Yosemite features such as (the new Yosemite Look & Feel, Notification Center extensions, or Click to call a number on your iPhone) in Windows, you’ll need to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 10.

For more information on Yosemite compatibility and support (including for volume licensing and enterprise customers), check out last week’s blog post.

Revolution Number 10: Windows' Great Leap Forward

According to records kept by the Otis Elevator Company, 85 percent of skyscrapers using their elevators do not have a 13th floor. The superstitious fear of the number 13 (called “triskaidekaphobia”) actually originated with one of the earliest written texts, the Code of Hammurabi. Legend has it writers of the code left out the 13th law on the list, and things kinda snowballed from there. As it turns out, it was all just a big misunderstanding -- kind of like a BC version of “Three’s Company” – the code didn’t even have numeration.

This does nothing to explain what happened at Microsoft’s recent Windows 10 event – and the collective reaction of “wait…aren’t we on 9?” Don’t bother consulting your neighborhood numerologist or tweeting at Neil deGrasse Tyson inquiring about possible rips in the space-time continuum. 

What happened to Windows 9? Terry Myerson, executive vice president for the Operating System Group, explained that the new release represents such a major shift in Microsoft’s approach to what Windows will be – spanning everything from a connected things to mobile phones and tablets to PCs to servers – that the company opted to call it Windows 10.

Debunked: “It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10.” Image courtesy of Cestlavie22.

Debunked: “It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10.” Image courtesy of Cestlavie22.

We’ve downloaded the Technical Preview and taken a deep dive. Although we don’t yet have a solid picture of exactly how Windows 10 will function, we have a general sense of some of its key features and a rough idea of when you’ll all be able to get it. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Hurry Up and Wait: First, let’s talk availability. There will be a wait. According to multiple reports, Windows 10 won’t officially launch until the back half of 2015. Likewise, we don’t yet don’t have a sense of how much it will cost. 
  • Synergy and Persistence Conquer All Things: As for functionality, Windows 10 will run on everything from desktops to tablets to smartphones with the UI adjusting accordingly across whichever device the user is working on. The same goes for apps. Users will be able to buy one from the Windows Store and have it run across all their devices. This will add an additional layer of complexity for developers, who will presumably need to make universal apps that can adjust depending on which device they’re running on. 
  • Meet the new Start Menu (Same as the Old Start Menu): Remember the uproar from users when Windows 8 ditched the start menu? Windows 10’s “new” start menu is a throwback to the good old days when users could easily click a button and find a familiar trail of shortcuts. As a bonus, the new menu can be customized. 
  • All About Productivity: There look to be some big improvements to Snap, which lets users quickly arrange apps side by side. A new layout lets you split your display up among up to four apps (think of it like the NFL RedZone, but for work). Windows 10 also supports multiple desktops so you can keep work apps in one place and easily slide back and forth from the desktop. 
Snap for Windows 10: Like the NFL RedZone Quad Box, but for productivity. Image courtesy of Extreme Tech.

Snap for Windows 10: Like the NFL RedZone Quad Box, but for productivity. Image courtesy of Extreme Tech.

Finally, yes, you can install Windows 10 Technical Preview as a virtual machine using Parallels Desktop 10. Considering the fact that it offers relatively rudimentary functionality of what the full version will be capable of, please keep in mind that Parallels cannot yet guarantee compatibility with the OS at this stage of development—meaning some Parallels Tools components may not work or install into a Windows 10 Technical Preview virtual machine. Still, installation instructions can be found here.