Parallels Desktop 13 Brings Windows Apps to Mac Touch Bar

More than 30 tools are now available for Windows and Mac that enable users to complete tasks with a single click–from drive cleaning, to presentation mode and to screen recording.


Everything in IT is moving to cross-platform capabilities, because that’s what the so-called “customer experience” dictates. Companies bow to CX dictates at every opportunity, because competition demands it.

Parallels, which built its business by bridging the Apple and Microsoft operating systems, enabling users to cross-pollinate applications, has been ahead of this curve all along. The company's patented platform has enabled valuable productivity gains inside many enterprises for more than a decade.

Since those early days, Parallels has continued to develop products for new markets, including a remote application server for PCs and Macs, cross-platform cloud-building tools and software that connects PC and Mac desktops/laptops to various mobile phones and tablets.

The Seattle-based company keeps forging ahead, launching Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac desktop, which also provides support for Windows 10.

The most interesting new facet of Parallels Desktop 13, released Aug. 22, is that it makes it easy for MacBook Pro users to add Windows applications to the Touch Bar, and to use Touch Bar withinWindows applications.

This is the first app to bring the upcoming Windows 10 People Bar feature to the Mac–including integration with the Mac Dock and Spotlight, Parallels said.

The new version also features notable performance improvements for completing certain tasks, the company said.

With one mouse click, Parallels can automatically install Windows 10 into a virtual machine, which can be purchased at a later date without losing data or installed applications, making getting started in Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac pretty easy.

It also enables users to purchase and automatically install Windows 10 from Microsoft, add an existing copy of Windows, and simply move their PC to their Mac. There is no easier way to buy Windows, because it’s all automated in Parallels.

From the beginning, users can choose to make Windows look like a PC (Full Screen) or make Windows invisible (Coherence mode), while launching Windows apps from the Mac Dock, Launch Pad or Windows Start Menu, enabling users to tailor the experience to their liking.

Best of Both Worlds

Parallels Desktop 13 provides Mac Touch Bar integration for Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as browsers including Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.

Additionally, when using the Windows Start Menu or Desktop, Parallels Desktop 13 features Taskbar pinned elements, along with Cortana, Task View and settings in the Touch Bar. Thousands of other Windows applications that run in Parallels Desktop can quickly be customized with popular Touch Bar actions, if the default set of functional keys is not enough.

There are about 30 new features in Parallels 13. Go here for more information and pricing.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...