A new version of the innovative Parallels Windows on Mac OS X solution has been released.

Release Candidate 2 (RC2) of the Parallels Desktop software for Intel-based Macs is available now.

In case you missed it, this is a solution that lets users run Windows and other X86-compatible operating systems as windows inside Mac OS X.

The solution exploits virtualisation technology built into the Intel processors inside new Macs. Unlike Boot Camp, operating systems can run side by side, which lets users run most Windows applications comfortably beside Mac ones.

The new version of the software offers major performance updates, alongside better USB performance, support for more devices and networking improvements.

Parallels Compressor Server Edition technology debuts in this release. This improves performance while reducing the amount of hard drive space a Mac user needs to dedicate to operating systems it is hosting.

These operating systems sit in a virtual area of a hard drive but still take up space. Parallels estimates that the space taken by these visiting operating systems can be reduced by up to 50 per cent using its compression technology.

The price has also climbed. The software will now cost $79.99.