VMware preps Fusion 6, Workstation 10 for Windows 8.1, Apple OS X Mavericks

VMware's desktop virtualization software is aiming to roll with Windows 8.1 and Apple's OS X Mavericks. Workstation follows suit.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

VMware on Wednesday launched the latest version of its Fusion desktop virtualization software with support for Apple's OS X Mavericks as well as Microsoft's Windows 8.1 and Workstation 10, an enterprise staple.

Virtualizing the Enterprise: An overview

The timing of the news, which lands a week after VMware's VMworld powwow, follows the launch of Parallels desktop virtualization effort.

VMware has two versions of Fusion---Fusion 6 and Fusion 6 Professional. With the launch, VMware has to hit a few moving code targets. For instance, OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1 aren't complete yet.

Nicolas Rochard, group product marketing manager for Fusion, said VMware is ensuring that it supports Mavericks "the way it is today." As for Windows 8.1, VMware is supporting the preview as closely as possible. In other words, Apple and Microsoft support may be a bit of a moving target and VMware will have to update Fusion should anything break.

As for the features, Fusion 6 supports up to 16 virtual CPUs and 65 GB of RAM and 8TB of disk space. VMware also improved the UI and added a feature so Windows can be installed without a DVD and easily migrated with a few clicks.

The Fusion Professional 6 has new features to restrict virtual machines so enterprises can manage settings remotely, limit USB device access and generally cut down on support calls. Fusion Professional 6 also has Player 6 for commercial use to support Mac, Windows and Linux license keys.



Fusion 6 will cost $59.99 for home users and is sold through VMware's online store. Fusion 6 Pro will be $129.99 and sold through the channel and online store. VMware has discounts for upgrades and a technology guarantee program for anyone who bought Fusion after Aug. 1.

Workstation 10 could play a key role in the enterprise because companies are actively evaluating Windows 8.1.

Jason Joel, director of Workstation 10 at VMware, said companies "are trying to figure out new laptops coming in with touchscreens because employees are not going to down rev to Windows 7," said Joel. "The interest is an acknowledgement that Windows 8.1 is coming into the enterprise."



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