Parallels has released an Update Release Candidate (RC) for the Parallels Desktop for Mac, ushering in new improvements.

Parallels Desktop for Mac runs Windows, Linux or any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X, without re-booting.

The latest update includes two major new features:

- Better USB 2.0 support. Faster support for a broader range of devices, including Palm PDAs and most webcams.

- Improved drag-and-drop: Parallels Desktop now shares the entire Mac file structure between Mac OS X and Windows. This means that a user can, for example, drag a Word file directly from Mac OS X to Word for Windows, have the Windows program automatically open, and edit the file without creating a separate, independent copy in their Windows virtual machine. When the user clicks “save” after modifying the file, the update file is saved directly to their Mac.

The Parallels Desktop for Mac Update, which is free for all registered customers, includes a number of groundbreaking features. The new Coherence mode, for example, lets users running Intel Macs run Windows applications directly on their Mac, without ever seeing the Windows desktop. Coherence also lets users load Windows applications from their Mac dock, meaning that they can run important Windows-only applications like Outlook and Internet Explorer without ever leaving their Mac desktop.

The update also includes support for USB 2.0, CD/DVD burning in virtual machines, and a new "Transporter" feature that enables entire Windows machines, as well as Virtual PC and VMware Workstation virtual machine images to be migrated to a Parallels virtual machine running on the Mac, without having to reinstall the operating system or any applications.

New and existing Parallels Desktop for Mac users can download the Update RC here. Existing users can install the Update RC over their existing Parallels Desktop for Mac install.