Parallels Desktop 15 running Windows 7 and 11. [credit: Parallels ]
Today, popular virtualization software Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac becomes available to new and current users. The flagship feature is support for DirectX in virtual Windows machines via Apple's proprietary Metal graphics API. Other additions include a handful of new macOS Catalina-related features and improvements to transitions between Mac and Windows software running on the same machine.
When we wrote about Parallels Desktop 14 around this time last year, we asked about Metal support. The application then still relied entirely on OpenGL in macOS, and Apple had already announced that continued support for OpenGL would end. We were told it was coming, and we were not misled: the new version of Parallels Desktop now supports DirectX 9, 10, and 11 via Metal. Previously, DirectX 9 and 10 were supported via OpenGL and DirectX 11 was not supported at all. Parallels' rep noted to us that "Metal and DirectX work best in Catalina."
Apple's new macOS Catalina software for Macs launches this fall, and Parallels Desktop 15 supports a few of the key features of that new release. That includes Sign In with Apple, which can now be used to authenticate with a Parallels account. Catalina also means you can use your iPad as an external display alongside a Mac via Apple's new Sidecar feature—and Parallels makes this work not just for macOS applications but for Windows as well. Apple Pencil support is included for both environments.