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VMWare's Fusion begins private beta


Some beta testers that we won't name for their own protection have let us know that VMWare is now ready to take Parallels to task in the desktop virtualization market with Fusion.

What is Fusion? According to the private beta site... "Fusion is the codename for a new VMware desktop product for Mac that will enable Intel-based Macs to run x86 operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris, in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X. It is built on VMware's robust and advanced desktop virtualization platform that is used by over four million users today."

Fusion boasts the following features and benefits:

  • Ability to create and run a wide variety of x86 operating systems on OS X without rebooting. You can easily create virtual machines and run multiple operating systems simultaneously on Mac OS X. In addition, you can download and run any of the 300 virtual appliances available on VMware's Technology Network.
  • Easily share files between OS X and guest operating system. You can simply drag and drop files between OS X and virtual machines to easily share files between the two environments.
  • Access physical devices from the virtual machine. You can access physical devices such as CD ROM drives, video cameras, iPods, printers and high-speed disks from the virtual machine.
  • Leverage Virtual SMP capabilities to gain additional performance improvement. You can assign more than a single CPU (on supported hardware with Intel Core Duo CPU) to gain additional performance for CPU-intensive workloads.
  • Consolidate onto your Mac: If you need a PC to run specific applications that are not supported on your Mac, you can consolidate onto your Mac by running the PC environment in a virtual machine. In addition to space savings, consolidating onto your Mac reduces hardware, power and cooling costs.
  • Safely evaluate software in isolated virtual machines: You can evaluate non-OS X applications safely on your Mac by running them in an isolated virtual machine. If the application crashes or corrupts the system, your Mac is not affected.
  • Run over 300 virtual appliances: You can download any of the over 300 virtual appliances - preinstalled and preconfigured applications packaged with an operating system in a virtual machine - available from VMware's Technology Network. Setting up a wiki or blog server has never been easier.
  • Fusion supports all Intel Mac hardware, including the new 64-bit Mac Pro and iMac.
  • Your virtual machines can have multiple virtual processors, taking advantage of the Intel Core Duo chips in today's newest Intel Macs.
  • Fusion supports high-speed USB 2.0 for a huge range of devices. Even devices that do not have drivers for Mac OS X will work in a virtual machine.
  • Simply drag and drop files and folders in and out of your virtual machines to transfer your data.
We'll keep you posted with more on how Fusion measures up as the beta progresses. Looks like a winner so far, though!

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