Parallels Desktop 18 simplifies installing Windows 11 on Apple Silicon, adds new SSO licensing, and improves Xbox and PS4 controller support

Parallels Desktop 18 simplifies installing Windows 11 on Apple Silicon, adds new SSO licensing, and improves Xbox and PS4 controller support

Today, Parallels announces the release of Parallels Desktop 18 for Mac. Parallels Desktop 18 includes substantial core improvements, changes that allow IT administrators to deploy Parallels and Windows in their environments, and support for the latest macOS operating systems. For Mac users who need to run Windows applications, Parallels 18 aims to simplify the process and speed up workflows. Users can run over 200,000 Windows apps and classic games on macOS using Parallels 18. This new version comes in three different flavors depending on your business (or gaming) needs. Let’s dive into the news.

Parallels 18 Standard Edition

Parallels 18 Standard Edition is optimized for the macOS Ventura release to support new features and functionality and deliver exceptional performance. Includes full support for Apple’s ProMotion display with automatic refresh rate changes and Apple M1 Ultra performance unleashed, allowing users to allocate more resources and get up to 96% faster performance on Windows 11. For those who run games from Windows on macOS via Parallels, version 18 adds automatic sharing of Xbox or DualShock Bluetooth game controllers with Windows and Linux. It also improves compatibility with Intel apps when running the ARM version of Windows 11. Finally, you’ll find improved USB 3.0 support for live streaming devices, including the Elgato HD60, Startech USB 3.0 Video Capture, and more. Once macOS Ventura is released, you’ll have the option to run the Windows app within Stage Manager.

professional edition

Parallels Desktop 18 for Mac Pro Edition includes all the power of the standard edition, plus a few other improvements. It consists of a network conditioner in Apple M1 Mac, which allows users to configure various network conditions for the virtual machine (bandwidth, packet loss, delay). Isolate the network of Mac virtual machines on Apple M1 Mac computers for added security and start a Minikube cluster with Parallels Desktop as the virtualization provider. Includes the use of network boot with Linux ARM virtual machines now available on Macs running Apple Silicon. With the enhanced Parallels Plugin for Visual Studio, you can quickly analyze the performance of an application on a separate virtual machine.

business edition

Adding all the features of Standard and Pro, the Business edition adds SSO/SAML support for licenses. For IT administrators looking to implement Windows support for their Mac fleet, these features will dramatically simplify the license provisioning process. Included SSO providers are Azure AD, Okta, Ping, and more. IT administrators can also deploy, provision, or transfer a Windows 11 virtual machine between employee computers. Finally, it allows teams to centrally manage their participation in the Parallels customer experience program in a single portal.

parallels 18

“We are proud of our engineering team that continues to be at the forefront of innovation to bring our users a noticeably more powerful and fluid Parallels Desktop for Mac experience, which is integrated with the latest macOS Ventura, optimized for the latest hardware from Apple, and offers valuable features to deliver even better productivity and performance,” said Prashant Ketkar, chief technology and product officer at Corel. “This is as simple and easy to use as it sounds, and our users can rely on Parallels Desktop for Mac to focus on the work at hand.”


On Intel, Parallels 18 supports everything from Windows 2000 to Windows 11 on the Microsoft side. On the Mac side, it supports all operating systems dating back to Lion. For Linux, it supports Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Debian GNU, Mint, Red Hat, Suse Linux, and Kali.

On Apple Silicon, it supports Windows 11, Windows 10, macOS Ventura and Monterey, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian GBU, RHEL, CentOS, and Kali.

Parallels reported that 99.99% of Intel-based PC applications run great on macOS, including some of the heavier CAD programs thanks to built-in Windows 11 emulation.

Parallels 18 Pricing

Parallels Desktop 18 is sold as a subscription for $99.99 per year or as a perpetual license for $129.99. The Pro Edition costs $129.99 per year, while the Business Edition costs $149.99 per year (per license). If you have an existing license for the standard edition, a perpetual license upgrade costs $69.99, while a subscription upgrade to the Pro edition costs $69.99 per year.

The 9to5Mac Take

I’ll have a full review in the next few weeks, but it looks like another solid release from the Parallels team. I’m particularly interested in the new SSO/SAML support for licenses. I believe that this enhancement, while not focused on the product, will make product deployment and license management much easier. Parallels simplified the installation process for Apple Silicon and removed the need to join the Microsoft Insider Program to download an ARM-compatible build. During the installation process, Parallels will automatically download the correct version. Through SaaS apps, Catalyst apps, and web apps, the need for Windows apps on macOS might have diminished for some users. For those who want to play Windows games, use the PC version of Microsoft Office, or have specific PC use cases, Parallels 18 looks like a solid upgrade based on the previous version. Download a free trial version.

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