Parallels 11 Brings Cortana To The Mac Well Ahead Of Siri

Parallels 11 Brings Cortana To The Mac Well Ahead Of Siri

The new Parallels 11 brings a host of new features that include support for Windows 10 on a Mac device and the integration of Cortana into OS X.
(Photo : Parallels)

Mac users will now be able to talk to Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana and say the familiar phrase, "Hey Cortana," even if they are using an Apple-based app.

Parallels 11 brings with it a number of enhancements to the user's virtualization experience. Apart from offering support for Windows 10, its most impressive feature could just be the integration of Cortana, which is designed as an always-on feature for the Mac.

Designed to be a faster, easier and more powerful version, Parallels 11 will allow users to set up a virtual machine with Windows 10 while also running Windows apps hand in hand with native Mac apps.

It is also said to work with Apple's OS X El Capitan, which is expected to release later this year.

Other notable improvements include volume control synchronization, location services support, native Windows print page setup from OS X, a built-in Travel Mode that helps to boost battery life, and network settings that are toggled to shared networking, allowing one to easily use Windows programs on a Mac's connection.

"Use Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Access, and hundreds of other Windows applications not available on the Mac," said Parallels on its official site. "Quickly switch between Mac and Windows. Seamlessly utilize Mac features inside Windows and leverage Windows' strengths on your Mac."

In terms of performance, Parallel 11 is said to bring certain enhancements, such as a faster boot time and shutdown time by as much as 50 percent for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, extended battery life of up to 25 percent, faster tasks performance in Windows by up to 20 percent, faster file transfer between Mac and Windows by as much as 5 percent, and faster suspension of virtual machines by up to 20 percent.

Users who are currently under Parallels Desktop 9 and 10 can now upgrade to Parallels Desktop 11, which will cost them $49.99. They can also upgrade to the Mac Pro Edition, which has an introductory price of $49.99 a year. Likewise, new customers of Parallels Desktop for Mac 11 are given at least two weeks to use it for free before finally purchasing it through the company's site for the price of $79.99.

Other subscription options include the Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro Edition, which costs $99.99 a year and comes with a free Parallels Access subscription; and Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Business Edition, which costs $99.99 a year.