By Claire Reilly
"Wow! Run Windows on your Mac!"
That's the exuberant call to action being spruiked by Parallels with the launch of Parallels Desktop 9 — a desktop virtualisation software that allows consumers to run Windows and Mac programs simultaneously on the same desktop or laptop, without rebooting.
According to Eugenio Ferrante, Parallels head of marketing and sales, cross-platform applications, Asia Pacific, the sales pitch for Parallels Desktop 9 is remarkably simple:
“The basic value proposition of Parallels Desktop is that it allows you to run the Windows application you need on the hardware you love,” he said. “The way we ‘wow’ our users is…we increase their productivity through the convenience of having Windows and Mac OS running at the same time, we simplify their life, but most of all, we let them use the hardware that they really love.”
Since the release of Parallels Desktop 8, developers have worked to upgrade four key aspects of the consumer experience with the newest iteration of the software: convenience, performance, cloud optimisation and peace of mind.
"Our users want convenience, and they like the performance that we have but they always ask for more," said Ferrante. “More and more they're using cloud services, but they want them to be better integrated into the Parallels desktop environment, and finally, they want peace of mind. They want to know that when there is a new release from Apple or from Microsoft, we are going to be there with the latest version from Parallels.”
In demonstrating the new software at yesterday’s Parallels launch, Ferrante made it clear that users can better understand the benefits of the software by seeing it demonstrated. Similarly, Ferrante said the software was best positioned in-store next to Apple products, rather than with other software, so it can be bundled in as a value-add on Mac sales.
Regardless of whether a consumer is a first-time Mac user or they’re a fully-fledged fan, Ferrante said there was an opportunity to sell the software to anyone.
“If it’s somebody who’s completely new to a Mac and they’re coming from a Windows OS, having Parallels Desktop is insurance for them so they can continue to have the applications that they had, and they can continue to access the files they had on their old computer.
“If you have somebody who is very experienced with a Mac but for work or personal reasons there are one or two things they need to do in Windows — if you’re an insurance agent and every night you need to fill in reports on a Windows application — you can choose between a native Windows machine or this software.”
Parallels Desktop 9 will be available through retail stores including Apple, JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and Next Byte from 5 September. New users will be able to buy the software for RRP $89.95, while a Student Edition and an upgrade version for existing users will be available for RRP $59.95.
As an added incentive for consumers, Parallels Desktop 9 will come with a bonus six-month subscription to Parallels Access (valued at $39.99). Parallels Access allows users to remotely access their Mac (installed with Parallels Desktop) via an iPad, letting them use both Windows and Mac OS desktop applications on a tablet form factor.
The selling message behind Parallels Desktop 9 is called out on the product packaging.