Parallels, a provider of cloud services automation and virtualisation software, has announced support for Google Chrome as a guest operating system running on Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac.

The software allows users, currently around 2 million of them, to run Windows, Linux and other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X. The ability to run Google Chrome OS on Parallels Desktop for Mac is being demonstrated this week at the OS X Business Park at CeBIT in Germany, which runs until Saturday.

"There is already a huge amount of interest in Google’s new OS, even though it’s still just in beta, so we want to make sure our customers can try it out on their Macs without impacting their primary work environment on Mac OS X," said Kim Johnston, Vice President of Marketing for Consumer, Business and Online at Parallels.

"It’s important to us that we continue to innovate to meet our customers’ needs, giving them the ability to use the broadest range of applications possible, whether on Mac, Windows, Linux or Chrome operating systems."

Billed as the fastest ever Parallels, Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac was introduced in November last year, reportedly 22 per cent faster than the nearest Windows-on-Mac competitor according to independent performance research conducted by Crimson Consulting Group. Parallels also claims Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac is up to 300 per cent faster for virtual machine operations than the previous version 4.0.

Last month, Parallels introduced Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition, extending Parallels server virtualisation offerings for Macs and billed as the world’s first bare metal hypervisor solution for the Apple Xserve. Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition promises greater performance for applications running in virtual machines on the Xserve, enabling businesses to standardise on the Apple platform, and opening a new opportunity for cloud services providers to offer profitable Mac OS X services.