Virtualisation company Parallels said on Friday that it plans to launch a facility to let PC users access their software from the iPhone, using the latest version of Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0.
Although the company revealed plans for the iPhone link-up while announcing the details of version 4.0, it down played the iPhone news, saying it was "just a feature to try out". Parallels's spokesman, UK country manager Russell Blackburn, said he did not have any further details on the iPhone version, but that accessing Parallels software through the iPhone was a natural idea.
"This is just a way for PC users to try Parallels," Blackburn told ZDNet UK. "There is a huge number of people who run PCs at work but would like to run a Mac at home and would like to have an easy way to move between the two worlds."
Parallels Desktop allows users to run PC environments on their Mac. It allows users to run their software (Mac, PC, Linux, open source or "almost anything else", according to Blackburn) in a virtual machine on their system. The number of virtual machines is only limited by the system's physical capacity, although Parallels admits that three or four will stretch a single-user system.
According to Blackburn, the latest version, Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0, "has been completely re-written" and is now 64-bit software rather than 32-bit software. He added that the look and feel of the software has been updated so that, in PC mode, it now looks exactly like a PC and can occupy the full screen rather than just a window.
"A lot of work has been done around the look and feel of this," said Blackburn. "The aim is that when you move to the PC it looks as much like a PC as possible, and when you are working on a Mac it looks like a Mac."
Parallels 4.0 will also have more security and support built in, the company said. The security features come from Kaspersky, and include antivirus, firewall, scanner, recovery, filtering, identity protection, Acronis True Image Home backup and restore and Acronis Disk Director Suite. These will be included in the price, the company said.
Parallels Desktop 4.0 will cost £49.99 for a single-user edition and £199 for a five-user pack. The upgrade pack for users of Parallels 3.0 or earlier will be £31.99 and an academic licence will cost £39.99. The company also said in its statement that it would offer Parallels for Mac 4.0 at an upgrade price of £24.99 until 30 November.