Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:27PM
An update from one of our product marketing experts:
Windows 8.1 was released today, and we are happy to share that we released an update for Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac -- so, now you can update your Windows 8 virtual machines to Windows 8.1. The best approach is to:
(1) update Parallels Desktop 9, then,
(2) boot your Windows 8 virtual machine — which will then automatically update the Parallels Tools inside the virtual machine — and then,
(3) upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.
In my opinion, the two most useful Parallels Desktop 9 features for Windows 8 users are the Windows 8 Start Menu and the ability to run the new Metro apps in Windows 8 inside indvidiual windows. I'm happy to say these two features work just fine in Windows 8.1. If you haven't taken advantage of these two features, you are really missing something, since they dramatically increase the usability of Windows. It is just a single menu command — "Use Windows 7 Look" — to turn on these features, and I urge you to do so in your Windows 8 (or Windows 8.1) virtual machines.
Unfortunately, I do have one piece of bad news: there is not yet a version of the Norton or Kaspersky anti-virus utilities that works in a Windows 8.1 virtual machine. If you've already installed one of them in your Windows 8 virtual machine, they won't crash it or bring it down — they just won't launch. So, you won't have their protection when working within Parallels Desktop. You might want to consider delaying your upgrade to Windows 8.1 until your preferred anti-virus solution update is available.
Oh, and one more important piece of advice: don't add another anti-virus solution without first removing the existing one. Windows doesn't work when two anti-virus solutions are installed. I did this once, and the result wasn't pretty.
We hope you enjoy all the great features of Windows 8.1, running on your Mac, as well as what we've added to the experience with Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac. Keep us posted on what you use the most. We'd love to hear from you!