VMware announces Fusion 5 virtualization software with support for Windows 8, integration with Mountain Lion

With Mountain Lion newly available and Windows 8 on the verge of shipping, now was a pretty good time for VMware to update its Fusion virtualization software, dont'cha think? The company just announced Fusion 5 with 70-plus new features, including support for Win 8 and tight integration with OS X 10.8. For instance, you can now view Windows programs in Mountain Lion's Launchpad, while VMware software updates pop up in the Notification Center. Fusion also supports AirPlay for the first time, and you can also run either Mountain Lion or Mountain Lion Server as a virtual machine. The company also added support for Retina Display MacBook Pros, so that everything looks crisp on that 2,880 x 1,800 screen. Also of note: Fusion now supports USB 3.0, and Linux users get some love in the form of Open GL 2.1 graphics support.

The standard version of Fusion 5 is available now for $49.99, but people who bought Fusion 4 since the release of Mountain Lion can upgrade for free. There's also a professional version ($100 for one license), which includes all the above features, and also lets IT departments lock down settings for employees' virtual machines.

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VMware Fusion 5 screenshots

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VMware Announces VMware Fusion® 5
Optimized for the latest technologies found in OS X® Mountain Lion, Windows 8 and the latest Macs®, VMware Fusion 5 returns with more than 70 new features for a Windows on Mac experience never seen before

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 23, 2012 - VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced VMware Fusion® 5 with 70 new features that deliver an unparalleled Windows on Mac experience. In addition, VMware is introducing VMware Fusion 5 Professional with new capabilities designed to dramatically improve the way businesses deliver applications to users on Macs and PCs.

"While the number of users adopting Macs continue to rise, the business environment is still dominated by Windows," said Jason Joel, director, personal products, VMware. "VMware Fusion 5 and Fusion 5 Professional build upon our award-winning platform, adding new capabilities that are in demand among both individual and professional users. Leveraging our experience with consumer and enterprise end-users, we believe this new version of the product is the best solution on the market for users who want to run Windows on Mac simultaneously."

VMware Fusion 5
The VMware Fusion 5 product family offers the easiest, fastest and most reliable way to run Windows on a Mac for individual or business use. VMware Fusion 5 has been revamped to take advantage of new technologies only available in Mountain Lion, Windows 8 and the latest Macs to deliver a Windows on Mac experience never seen before. New features include:
- Designed for Mountain Lion – Run Windows on Mountain Lion and search Windows programs in Launchpad, use "AirPlay Mirroring" to stream Mac and Windows applications on an HDTV and get VMware Fusion notifications in Mountain Lion's notification center.
- Windows 8 Optimization – VMware Fusion 5 supports Windows 8 standard, pro and enterprise editions so consumers can optimize the new Windows 8 "Metro" environment directly on a Mac.
- Enhanced Mac Support – Support for the latest Mac technologies include compatibility with Mountain Lion, retina display optimization, USB 3 connectivity, and improved support for large memory Macs.
- Next Generation Performance – Performance enhancements include up to 40% faster general performance speeds compared to the previous version of the product, improved power management for longer battery life and faster 3D graphics.
- Additional Functionalities – New, powerful ways to experience Windows on a Mac are available through an updated virtual machine library that enables seamless transitions between multiple operating systems, one click snapshots with improved graphical appearance, a brand new graphics driver for Linux 3D desktops, and a new embedded learning center for immediate support.

VMware Fusion 5 Professional
VMware Fusion 5 Professional includes all the features of Fusion 5 plus new capabilities that will improve the way professionals deliver business applications to Mac users. Key benefits include:
- Open the Doors to Macs – Whether business applications run on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 or one of more than 200 other operating systems, VMware Fusion 5 is designed to ensure maximum compatibility with the applications users need.
- Create Restricted Virtual Machines – Create an encrypted corporate image that meets the needs of employees and enables productivity from their first power-on. To avoid tampering of the corporate image, restrictions can prevent users from changing virtual machine settings or attaching USB devices to Windows.
- Easy Deployment Across Multiple Platforms – VMware Fusion 5 Professional includes a commercial license of VMware Player™ 5 to deploy and run restricted virtual machines on Macs, Windows and Linux systems. So regardless of the underlying platform, VMware Fusion 5 Professional gives users the business applications they need.
- Reduce Support Costs – Reduce support costs by directing end-users to customized Web resources directly from VMware Fusion 5 Professional's Help menu.
- Easy Management – VMware Fusion 5 Professional is a full perpetual license which activates both VMware Fusion 5 Professional and VMware Player 5.

Availability and Pricing
VMware Fusion® 5 and VMware Fusion 5 Professional are available immediately for download and purchase from vmware.com for $49.99 and $99.99 respectively. Customers who have purchased VMware Fusion 4 on or after July 25, 2012 are eligible for an electronic upgrade to VMware Fusion 5 at no additional cost. Learn more about the VMware Fusion electronic upgrade program here. Volume pricing for corporate users is available from select resellers and the VMware Store.

VMware Fusion 3 and 4 customers as well as Parallels Desktop customers can upgrade to VMware Fusion 5 Professional for only $49.99 here.

VMware Fusion is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.

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VMware intros Fusion 5 virtualization software with support for Win 8, integration with Mountain Lion