One major advantage of Apple’s MacOS platform is its ability to run Windows 10 via Boot Camp or third-party virtualization apps. While Boot Camp is likely the highest performance option, it doesn’t fully leverage the MacBook Pro Touch Bar in Windows 10 mode. Two of the more popular virtualization apps, Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, change that equation by adding in meaningful Windows 10 Touch Bar support.
The news comes via 9to5Mac, which reported on both Parallels Desktop 13 and VMware Fusion 10 now enabling some nice Touch Bar functionality for Windows 10 users. The virtualization apps also add a number of other features that equate to significant upgrades for existing users.
VMWare Fusion 10’s Touch Bar support provides for “commonly used controls,” without much in the way of details. Additional updates in Fusion 10 include enhanced GPU and 3D graphics performance, and a new user interface that better leverages MacOS, Linux, and Windows 10. Enterprise users will benefit from improved virtual machine management (VM) features and enhanced support for Microsoft’s virtualization-based security features, UEFI Secure Boot, and virtual Trusted Platform Module support.
Parallels Desktop 13’s Touch Bar support for Windows 10 was explained in additional detail. Not only does the Touch Bar provide specific functionality for Windows apps that are running in a VM, but when no apps are running, the Touch Bar can be used to show items in the Windows task bar for easy access to running and available apps. The following video shows off Touch Bar support in Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac.
Other updates include enhancements to the Parallels Toolbox utility like Airplane Mode, Clean Drive, and Find Duplicates. Parallels Desktop 13 also anticipates some future Windows 10 features that will be coming in the Fall Creators Update, such as the Windows 10 People Bar and picture-in-picture functionality. Of course, performance and reliability improvements are also part of the package
The update to VMware Fusion 10 costs $49 for existing users and $119 for the Pro version. If you buy version 8.5 or 8.5 Pro now, you’ll receive an update to version 10 when it’s officially released in October. Parallels Desktop 13 is available today as a $50 upgrade for version 11 or 12 users; a new copy costs $80.