Parallels is preparing a new virtualisation tool that will let users continue to run Windows XP applications on Windows 7 systems. The move will make the software a direct competitor for Microsoft's recently announced Windows XP Mode.
The company is inviting testers to sign up for the beta programme, but otherwise details are extremely sparse, as Parallels declined to disclose a release date or even an official name for the forthcoming product.
However, it seems probable that the company is aiming for availability in time for Microsoft's launch of Windows 7.
Parallels said in a statement that the tool "leverages Parallels' high performance adaptive hypervisor, as well as award-winning, patent-pending technologies such as Coherence and SmartSelect, innovations that enable users to seamlessly run differing operating systems and their applications side by side" .
Coherence and SmartSelect already feature in Parallels' Desktop for Mac software, which enables Mac users to run Windows applications. Coherence makes the Windows application appear to be running natively on the Mac, while SmartSelect enables users to specify whether a file opens with a Mac or Windows application.
Parallels said that the forthcoming product will integrate its Parallels Transporter tool, which can migrate a physical PC into a virtual PC, along with its applications and data.
The company also hinted that 3D graphics support and performance would be key areas addressed by the new product once it ships.
Last week, Microsoft unveiled a beta of Windows XP Mode, based on its own Virtual PC technology, to help users migrating from XP to new Windows 7 systems.
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