VMware releases Fusion Beta 4 virtualization software for Apple Mac

VMware today released the Beta 4 release of VMware Fusion for Mac, a desktop application that lets you create and run virtual machines on your Intel-based Mac. VMware Fusion supports Windows, Linux, and Solaris operating systems in virtual machines.

Fusion Beta 4 includes the following new features and feature improvements:

• Unity: The seamless way to run Windows applications: Run Windows XP applications alongside your favorite Mac applications and switch between any open application with command-tab or Exposé. Leave the Windows desktop and Start menu behind and use the VMware Fusion Launch palette to quickly find and launch your Windows applications. Save your favorite Windows applications to the Mac OS X Dock. Even use familiar Mac keyboard shortcuts to seamlessly copy and paste between Windows and Mac applications.

Boot Camp improvements: You no longer have to choose between Windows or Mac-run Windows XP with Mac OS X off your existing Boot Camp partition. Beta 4 adds experimental support for Microsoft Vista, greatly improves Boot Camp partition detection, and when you are running the Boot Camp partition in a virtual machine, VMware Fusion automatically updates the Boot Camp partition to use drivers that are optimized for your virtual machine.

• Improved performance: Virtual machines boot faster and applications launch faster from virtual hard disks. Interactive performance is improved over previous betas and VMware Fusion now uses Apple’s multithreaded OpenGL engine for improved performance.

• Improved user experience: The toolbar is greatly enhanced and is now completely customizable. To make the display less cluttered and easier to use, the virtual hardware buttons have been moved from the toolbar to the status bar. The virtual machine hardware editor is a now sheet attached to the virtual machine you are editing.

More info and download link here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Matthew” for the heads up.]

12 Comments

  1. Funny how Leopard’s secret sauce being revealed next week, got VMWare and Parallels off their virtual buttocks.

    Ah, rock on Steve!

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  2. I really like the access to the start menu programs without having to have the ugly windows task bar… nice touch!

    MDN word: feeling – I’m feeling like I may leave Parallels behind for VMware Fusion…

  3. I think it’s probably too little too late. I’ve been using Parallels since the beginning and begrudgingly paid for my update to v3.0 today, so I’m hardly likely to change to a product still in beta after all of this time.

  4. personally I’d like to support parallels than VMware (i already bought Parallels) because VMware didn’t care to develop for Mac OSX before it was a bigger player in the market.

  5. duh:
    “VMware didn’t care to develop for Mac OSX before it was a bigger player in the market.”

    VMware announced a Mac version of their virtualization client about the time, or just before, Parallels came onto the scene. The only difference is VMware kept their app a closed beta till just recently, while Parallels released their beta as a full app and charged people along the way.

    Isn’t interesting that VMware has all the same features, if not more, than Parallels at version 1 than Parallels at version 3.
    Now lets see what Apple brings to the table on Monday.

    MW = actually “VMware is actually better than Parallels.”

  6. I’m running Parallels Version 2 and VMware Fusion Beta 3. Parallels seems to be written entirely for Windows. Their Linux support is lukewarm at best. VMware runs Linux great. I can’t wait to try out Beta 4. With VMware’s long history, I’ll probably be going with VMware as my choice in the near future.

  7. @ArchAngelNix

    You hit the nail on the head; with facts to boot – scary.

    While we’re on topic, I just installed VMWare Fusion beta 4 on my neighbor’s new MBP 15″ (1.5 G RAM). Then for good measure, I installed Parallels version 3. I let her play with both using M$ oApps, like Excel, etc. We both agreed that VMWare beta 4 was snappier, and their Unity was much more useful than Parallels’ Coherence. It really integrates both OS very well. The edges of windows are also cleaner than Parallels, but does suffer from some redraw aberrations when windows overlap.

    IMHO, although usable, both products are in fact beta quality. Shame on Parallels for asking $79 for a beta. I mean, if Apple can deliver Mac OS X with iLife for $129, how come a beta utility of this nature is 79 bones?

    Nevertheless, Rock Steve!

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