Winter turns to spring, night to dawn... and the two 800 lb. gorillas of the Mac virtualization market trade updates once again. A fortnight ago it was Parallels 7 hitting with a new release, and today we note the debut of VMware Fusion 4.
The new version of the virtual PC tool from the enterprise experts in virtualization looks to offer better performance, easier virtual disk resizing, a reboot-free drag and drop install, more graceful migration for PC to Mac switchers, and a no-compromises story on Lion compatibility both for the host and the virtual machine.
Since Apple has changed the licensing rules on virtualizing Mac OS X with Lion, any Mac user is permitted to run up to two virtual Macs on their hardware. For developers and IT folk, the ability to test apps and configurations in a snapshot-enabled, break-it-and-revert-it virtual machine is a genuinely beautiful thing. Fusion 4 makes it terribly easy to create Lion VMs by dragging the "Install OS X Lion" Mac App Store app right into a starter virtual machine; there is no step 3.
Lion's Mac-side features get a full workout with Fusion 4, as Windows apps can appear in Mission Control just as Mac apps do. You can launch Windows apps from Launchpad, Spotlight or the Applications folder -- but only the ones you actually want to see and use on a regular basis, so Notepad and Minesweeper don't need to show up. (Well, Notepad, anyway.) Keeping the launcher clutter to a minimum will help you keep your sanity. Lion's full screen app support is respected, too; you can take Windows apps full screen and swipe between individual apps in their own Spaces, just as you do with full screen Mac apps.
The new version includes Virtual Bluetooth technology, allowing your Windows VMs to work with wirelessly tethered mobile phones. A new snapshot manager gives you more control over your virtual machine backups. You can even encrypt your VM storage and require a password to launch a virtual machine.
Fusion works with VMware's migration technology to allow physical or virtual PCs to be cloned into a VM; that means PC users can have a replica of their old friend sitting just a click away. They won't be hurting for performance, either, as the new 64-bit Cocoa build of Fusion will offer faster 3D (2.5x) and everyday app performance versus the previous 3.1 version.
New licenses of Fusion 4 are available at a discounted US$49.99 through the end of 2011, with a normal suggested retail price of $79.99. Those who bought Fusion 3 on/after July 20 are due a free upgrade. You won't need to find a DVD drive to install the app on your MacBook Air, either; it ships on a handy USB drive.
Check out our gallery of virtualization pics, and if you're looking to give it a try, scoot over to VMware's site to download a free trial of Fusion 4.
PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 14, 2011 - VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced VMware Fusion® 4 – the best way to run Windows on a Mac. Available now at VMware.com for a promotional price of $49.99, VMware Fusion 4 makes it easier than ever for users to run Windows applications with Mac simplicity.
"Enhancements to VMware Fusion® 4 make it a breeze to run Windows and Mac Applications side by side on a Mac," said Pat Lee, director, client product management, VMware. "Offering full integration into Apple OS X Lion, VMware Fusion 4 builds on our proven, award winning platform to provide an easy, fast and reliable way to run Windows applications on a Mac."
With more than 90 new features and now optimized for today's multi-core Macs and OS X Lion, key features in VMware Fusion 4 include:
· Built for OS X Lion – VMware Fusion 4 is designed to provide the best Windows experience on OS X Lion. Add Windows programs to Launchpad, experience them in Mission Control, view them in full screen or switch between them using Mac gestures.
· Better Performance and Faster Graphics – VMware Fusion 4 has been engineered to run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side with incredible speed and reliability. As a 64-bit Cocoa application, it is optimized for today's multi-core Macs and delivers 3D graphics up to 2.5-times faster.
· Even More "Mac-like" Experience – VMware Fusion 4 enhances the way Windows programs run on a Mac. From the brand new settings menu to the redesigned virtual machine library and snapshot menu, users have even more Mac-like experiences when running Windows programs.
· Lion Squared – VMware Fusion 4 now supports OS X Lion in a virtual machine, allowing users to get more from their Mac by running OS X Lion, OS X Lion Server, Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server and Mac OS X Leopard Server in virtual machines.
Switching Made Easy
VMware Fusion's migration assistant for Windows makes it easier than ever for users to transfer their entire PC to a Mac, allowing them to make the most of their existing Windows software investment. With VMware Fusion 4 users can get the best of both worlds and have access to Windows programs and files from their PC directly on their Mac, whenever they need them.
Availability and Pricing
VMware Fusion® 4 is available until the end of the year for a promotional price of only $49.99. The suggested retail price for VMware Fusion 4 is $79.99. Customers who have purchased VMware Fusion 3 on or after the July 20, 2011 are eligible for an electronic upgrade to VMware Fusion 4 at no additional cost. Volume pricing for corporate users is available from select resellers and www.vmware.com/fusion.
VMware Fusion 4 is available immediately for download and purchase from vmware.com. VMware Fusion box products will be available at key resellers including Apple, Apple.com, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics and many other stores in the coming days. VMware Fusion is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.
Learn more about VMware Fusion on the VMware Fusion Blog
VMware (NYSE: VMW) delivers virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable IT organizations to energize businesses of all sizes. With the industry leading virtualization platform – VMware vSphere® – customers rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, improve agility, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2010 revenues of $2.9 billion, more than 250,000 customers and 25,000 partners, VMware is the leader in virtualization, which consistently ranks as a top priority among CIOs. VMware is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world and can be found online at www.vmware.com.
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