Parallels has launched its Parallels Technology Network (PTN) online community.
The community exists to help users looking for specific product information, and also offers a forum for developers working on virtual appliances to make software available to others for trial and feedback.
"We're taking ease of use to another level by facilitating the availability and adoption of virtual appliances that run on a PC or Mac regardless of the operating system," said Benjamin Rudolph, director of corporate communications at the company.
"Parallels Virtual Appliances are the ultimate in hassle-free technology, as they give our users access to pre-configured applications running self-contained in pre-built Parallels virtual machines," he added.
Virtual appliances are self-contained software modules that perform specific functions and are designed to run as platform-agnostic applications using Parallels virtualisation software.
One example is the OpenOffice Virtual Appliance, which runs the open-source Microsoft Office-replacing productivity suite on any Mac or PC powered by Parallels virtualization.
"The Parallels Technology Network presents us the opportunity to deliver our software to millions of Parallels users worldwide in a way that wasn't economically feasible in the past," said Kimbro Staken, chief technology officer. "JumpBox applications are pre-configured and can be deployed without modification to a PC or Mac."
The Parallels Technology Network is a combination research library, development lab and community forum that is divided into three sections: Knowledge Base; the Virtual Appliance Directory and a series of Community Forums.
Free to join, the Parallels Technology Network is available to any computer user or software company at Public, Virtual Appliance partner or technology partner levels.