VMware on Thursday launched Workstation 9 and Fusion 5 as it steps up virtualization support for the latest round of new operating systems---Microsoft's Windows 8 and Apple's OS X Mountain Lion.
Regarding Workstation 9, VMware added support for Windows 8, HTML5, USB 3.0 and the latest processors. Workstation 9 is typically used by software developers and testing teams.
"Windows 8 has challenged our team," said Mike Paiko, group product manager for Workstation. The biggest challenges were handling Windows 8 full-screen apps---formerly known as Metro apps. VMware had to detect full-screen usage with Windows 8 apps and then manage users when they went into desktop mode. Another challenge was handling multitouch, said Paiko.
Specifically, Workstation 9 does the following:
- Simplifies installation of Windows 8 virtual machines so they run with legacy operating systems. Workstation 9 also supports multi-touch features.
- Supports Intel Ivy Bridge processors, Open GL 2.1 on Linux and 3D graphics.
- Adds a Web interface to access virtual machines in Workstation from tablets, smartphones and PCs.
- Restricts virtual machines to allow system administrators to lock down virtual machine settings so they can’t be changed by end users. Restricted virtual machines can be distributed to run on Mac, Linux and Windows using VMware Fusion 5, VMware Player 5 or VMware Workstation 9
VMware Workstation 9 will run you $249 with upgrades from Workstation 7 and 9 priced at $119. Customers who bought Workstation 8 between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30 get a free upgrade.
Separately, VMware announced Fusion 5 and Fusion 5 Professional. Fusion 5 comes with 70 new features.
Among the key features for Fusion 5:
- Fusion 5 is built for Mountain Lion and supports Launchpad and uses AirPlay Mirroring to stream Mac and Windows applications on an HDTV.
- Mountain Lion Server can be run inside Fusion 5.
- The software also optimizes for Windows 8 directly on the Mac.
- Support for retina display and USB 3.0.
- VMware is supporting more than 200 operating systems including Windows Server and Ubuntu.
VMware Fusion 5 Professional adds the ability to create restricted virtual machines, a virtual network editor and includes a license for VMware Player 5 for commercial use.
Fusion 5 costs $49.99 and the professional edition is $99.99. Customers who bought Fusion 4 on or after July 25 get an upgrade to Fusion 5 for free.