Parallels has announced the availability of version 4.0 of Parallels Desktop for Mac that lets users run Windows, Linux and other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X.

The new version claims to improve OS integration, performs up to 50% faster and incorporates a range of security, backup and power saving features, a redesigned user interface and over 50 new features in total.

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac introduces support for DirectX 9, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2.0, while the Adaptive Hypervisor "dynamically allocates resources" to meet user needs.

The responsiveness to all applications is said to be further enhanced as the virtualisation engine has been optimised to consume 15-30% less resources than previous versions.

The software is now bundled with Parallels Internet Security powered by Kaspersky for anti-virus, firewall, scanner, recovery, filtering and identity protection as well as Acronis True Image Home backup and restore and Acronis Disk Director Suite.

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is available in English with versions soon to be available in Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Polish and Russian.

The standard retail price of Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is £49.99, while current Parallels Desktop users can upgrade their existing software for £24.99 if they buy before the end of November.