VMware launches Fusion 4, Workstation 8

VMware's Fusion software, which is used to run Windows on a Mac, is in a dogfight with Parallels, which recently rolled out its Desktop 7 software.

VMware on Wednesday launched its Fusion 4 software optimized for Apple's Mac OS X Lion.

The company's Fusion software, which is used to run Windows on a Mac, is in a dogfight with Parallels, which recently rolled out its Desktop 7 software.

VMware said that it added 90 features to Fusion 4, which comes via a USB key and has a promotional price of $49.99 before jumping to $79.99. Along with Fusion 4, VMware also launched the latest WorkStation software.

Pat Lee, director of end user computing clients at VMware, said the company's aim was to "run Windows apps like Mac ones" and use LaunchPad "to launch either one." VMware said it would love to deliver Fusion 4 via Apple's Mac App Store, but for now a USB key is the only way to install it.

Among the key points on Fusion 4:

  • The software is optimized for OS X Lion and allows Windows applications to appear in Launchpad as well as Mission Control.
  • Fusion 4 is faster than its previous version.
  • There's a more Mac-like experience throughout.

Separately, VMware rolled out Workstation 8, which allows companies and developers to upload virtual machines to vSphere. Workstation 8 adds 50 features and supports remote connections, shared virtual machines and drag and drop capabilities.