VMware Fusion 10, one of the leading methods for running Microsoft Windows on a Mac, boasts multiple new features. Many of Fusion 10's important updates, especially those included within the Pro version, target advanced business users. Here's a rundown of the improvements in version 10.
SEE: Virtualization policy (Tech Pro Research)
Fusion 10 includes improved wizards for creating new virtual machines (VMs) and migrating existing systems. The new wizards don't only look better, they operate better, as well. And the new platform supports Apple's Metal graphics initiative, which improves performance and power consumption and helps graphically intensive programs such as AutoCAD run more smoothly.
The updated version 10 user interface simplifies accessing additional information, such as IP and MAC addresses, by placing such data within the VM Library Window. The refreshed interface also enables quicker access to administrative controls and supports cutting and pasting and setting guest display resolution from within the View menu. Fusion 10 adds TouchBar support to accelerate accessing commonly used controls.
In addition to supporting macOS 10.13 High Sierra, VMware's Virtual Hardware Platform is updated to support new Windows 10 versions and updates. Fusion 10 includes new networking features, including the ability to rename virtual networks.
Thanks to an all-new REST-based API, Pro users can remotely administer Fusion 10 VMs. Fusion 10 Pro also adds new vSphere controls that enable shutting down, rebooting, and accessing the maintenance mode of vSphere hosts from directly within Fusion.
Other new Pro features include support for UEFI secure booting and seamless import of the vCenter Server Appliance. The integrated vCenter Server Appliance support ensures technology professionals can quickly and easily test vSphere environments. Version 10 Pro also supports Credential Guard and Device Guard Virtualization Based Security features on Windows 10 Enterprise virtual machines.
SEE: Boost your Mac productivity with these 10 techniques (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
But if all you need is to run Windows on a Mac, Fusion 10's basic version does that, too. Even if you're running a single installation, Fusion is straightforward and minimizes much of the confusion that can plague VMs, or the running of an additional operating system inside another.
For example, I was able to update my existing Fusion install in minutes. I began by downloading the 492MB Fusion installation package. Executing the dmg file triggers the VMware Fusion installer. With default security settings, macOS warns the application was downloaded from the internet and prompts for a username and password possessing administrative rights to proceed.
After the VMware Fusion installer initialized, macOS High Sierra displayed a message stating the system extension was blocked. I needed to open the Security & Privacy system preferences console and click the Allow button to continue (Figure A).
Next, the VMware Fusion 10 installer requested a license key. The installer also presents the option to try the virtualization software for 30 days.
Before the software installation could complete, I again provided administrative credentials. VMware Fusion 10 found my existing VM. Clicking the Play icon (Figure B) triggered a message asking whether I wished to upgrade the VM. The dialog box noted that upgrading provides support for new features but means the VM cannot be used by earlier Fusion versions without downgrading. The actual upgrade required less than a minute to complete.
The bottom line
Whereas running Windows on a Mac used to prove challenging, products such as VMware Fusion have greatly simplified the process. I'm a believer in ensuring whichever option you select, from Boot Camp to Fusion to Parallels, be kept current.
Previous Fusion users can upgrade to version 10 for $49.99. Fusion 10 Pro upgrades, meanwhile, run $119.99. If you're starting fresh, Fusion 10 is $79.99 new, while Fusion 10 Pro is $159.99.
Fusion 10 is for all 2011 or later Macs with the exception of 2012 Mac Pros with the Xeon W3565 CPU running OS X 10.11 or newer. To leverage Metal capabilities, Mac OS X 10.12.5 or newer is required, along with a compatible Mac, for which VMware lists models.
- Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac review: Touch Bar control for virtualised Windows apps, and more (ZDNet)
- Mighty Mac App Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)
- How to safeguard VMware Fusion installs using Snapshots and AutoProtect (TechRepublic)
- Three tips for maintaining Windows 10 in a Mac's VMware Fusion-powered VM (TechRepublic)
- Quick glossary: Virtualization (Tech Pro Research)
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.