Parallels is probably your best option if you want to run a virtual machine powered by Windows 10 on the Mac OS X. But, the latest version of the software, Parallels 11, took Windows 10 support to the whole another lever. Namely, if you have Parallels 11 running a Windows 10 virtual machine on your Mac, you’ll be able to access Cortana right from your Parallels desktop.
I’m sure that people from Apple won’t like this Parallels update, because it indirectly means that Microsoft will have its virtual assistant on Apple’s computers way before Siri reaches desktop PCs. Microsoft’s virtual assistant is indeed officially coming to Android and iOS, but Apple don’t want it on Mac OS, so Parallels 11’s Cortana support will probably make Cupertino’s tech giant mad.
You would say, it’s not actually available on Mac, because it’s part of virtual machine software, but, one of Parallels 11’s main features, besides supporting Windows 10 and bringing Cortana to the virtual machine, is the ability to run Cortana even if you use Mac apps. But this is not that surprising, if we know that Parallels also made it possible to launch Windows 10 apps directly from your Mac desktop, with its “Coherence mode.”
Of course, you would need a full copy of Windows 10 installed on your Parallels machine to run Cortana, but it’s not limited just to Parallel’s environment, as it always ‘listens,’ even if you’re using apps like Safari, or Mac OS’s Mail app. You just need to say “Hey Cortana” and it will pop-up and you can communicate with it, like you’re doing on the actual Windows 10 PC.
Besides introducing the Cortana support, Parallels 11 also brings some other performance improvements. You’ll be able to turn on and shut down your virtual version of Windows 10 around 50 percent faster than in the last version. If you’re using Parallels 11 on the MacBook, you can save up to 25 percent of your battery life with the new “travel mode.”
Unfortunately, Parallels didn’t follow all Microsoft’s trends, because free upgrade to Parallels 11 for users of previous Parallels versions is not available. So if you want to upgrade your program to Parallels 11, you’ll have to pay $50, and if you want to buy the new program, it will cost you $80. There’s also a version of Parallels 11 for Mac Pro Edition, which will cost you $100 a year, or $50 if you were using Parallels 9 or 10.