Virtualization

VMware Fusion gets a facelift

VMware Fusion is VMware's virtualisation solution for the Mac platform. Fusion has been in beta for quite some time now and I've been using it without many complaints. The latest beta release of Fusion has introduced a great new feature. With the help of some updated drivers (VMware Tools), the new viewing mode called 'unity' allows applications from your running virtual machine to be launched inside the OS X environment just like any native Mac application. Programs can be launched, minimised, and even added to the dock. The viewing mode can be switched back to the 'single window' mode which gives the classic VM experience.

Overall I'm very happy with VMware Fusion. Its virtual machines are interchangeable with those created in a Windows environment although there is no option to downgrade to a previous version, which is a shame. Why downgrade? Fusion uses the latest VM format with USB2 support, CD/DVD writing and DirectX support. The reason to downgrade is that VMware Server only supports the older VM format as used in VMware Workstation 5.

Fusion will soon be out of beta so anyone who's been trying it out will need to think about buying a licence. The price is very reasonable at $79.99; what's even better is the pre-order offer of $39.99, which makes the decision of whether to shell out or not a complete no-brainer!

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