VMware Fusion 2 now available; makes switching to Apple Mac a snap

VMware today announced the general availability of VMware Fusion 2. In its first year on the market, VMware Fusion has won more than a dozen industry awards, including the coveted Macworld Editor’s Choice Award and membership in PC World’s Top 100 Products of 2008.

VMware Fusion 2, a free, downloadable upgrade for all VMware Fusion 1.x customers, adds more than a hundred new features and enhancements, giving Mac users a more integrated Windows-on-Mac experience, wrapped in a user-friendly package that can be enjoyed by Mac users of any level of technical expertise. VMware Fusion 2 also makes Windows even safer on the Mac, while at the same time exposing more of the raw power of VMware’s virtualization technology for technical users.

“VMware Fusion 2 makes it easy and fun for every Mac user to run the Windows applications they need while enjoying the Mac experience they want, “ said Pat Lee, group manager for consumer products, VMware, in the press release. “Our goal is to break down the walls between Windows and the Mac by creating a user-friendly, Mac-native experience that lets our customers run any Windows application, seamlessly and safely, on the Mac. We want our customers to see that Windows really is better on the Mac.”

By letting would-be Mac users bring all their existing Windows applications along as they switch to the Mac, VMware Fusion is a great tool to help these users run the Windows software they rely on and have invested in, on the Mac hardware they prefer. As Robert Scoble, a well-known blogger and technology evangelist in the Silicon Valley, said, “VMware Fusion 2 makes my Mac a great PC. Now I can use all sorts of Windows-only applications that I would otherwise miss out on, side by side with Mac applications. It made switching to the Mac a total snap and makes it easy to run Windows apps on my Mac.”

This interest in running Windows on the Mac extends beyond individual consumers and into organizations as well. “As we’ve seen with consumers, SMBs as well as large organizations are starting to consider the possibility of deploying more Macs within their corporate environment, because of the company’s positive mindshare within the IT user market, among other reasons,” said Michael Rose, researcher at IDC, in the press release. “With technologies available today, like VMware Fusion, ‘switching’ to a Mac by individuals within organizations, whole departments or even across the entire company, is more conceivable because it allows users to adopt Apple hardware and software, while enabling the continued use of Windows applications and their associated management infrastructure.”

Organizations of all sorts, from small business, to educational institutions, to enterprises are embracing Mac hardware thanks to the ability to run Windows applications side-by-side with Mac applications. “VMware Fusion is a perfect fit for us,” said Jason Pelletier, computer labs manager from Bowdoin College. “Our students love it because it gives them access to Windows-only applications they need for classes, including software that comes with textbooks. Our faculty and staff love it because they can use their preferred Mac platform and still access Windows-based apps with just a few mouse clicks. And it’s great for our computer labs, because we get to use one type of hardware which can run any app our users need—Mac, Windows, Linux, and more. VMware Fusion is extremely reliable and delivers outstanding performance – it has been a great win for the school overall.”

Building on the award-winning VMware Fusion 1.x, and leveraging nearly a decade of desktop virtualization technology, VMware Fusion 2 delivers the most advanced Mac virtualization software available today. VMware Fusion breaks down the walls between Windows and Mac OS X, transforming Windows applications to work seamlessly within OS X like native applications, letting users launch any Mac file with any Windows application, seamlessly share data and folders between Windows and Mac, use Windows applications across multiple monitors, and even custom map the Mac keyboard to special keystrokes for Windows applications.

VMware Fusion 2 also makes Windows even safer on the Mac, through automatic virtual machine snapshots, that keep Windows safe from bumps in the road, and an embedded, complimentary 12-month subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus.

Power users will be happy that VMware Fusion 2 incorporates more of the raw technological power that VMware virtualization technology is known for, including multiple snapshots, the ability to add up to four virtual CPUs to a virtual machine, and newly added support for Mac OS X Leopard Server as a virtual machine.

VMware Fusion 2 is now available for a suggested retail price of US$79.99. The software will soon be available at Apple’s retail stores and other authorized retailers worldwide.

More info here.

19 Comments

  1. Try Virtual Box from virtualbox.org for free. I try Linux distros on my MacBook using Virtual Box. I bought Parallels (version 2) with my MacBook and don’t plan to upgrade because I found Virtual Box. Virtual Box runs Windows too.

  2. Sam, I switched to a Mac Pro (my first Mac) in March this year.

    Rather than trying to put my old Windows software on the Mac, I am simply keeping my old Windows computers around for the contingency of needing to use the old software. So far, I haven’t had a need to boot up the Windows desktop or the Windows laptop in months. They’re there if I need them. I just haven’t needed them.

  3. I use Parallels with a Boot Camp install – it gives me two ways of running Windows. If I don’t want to leave the MacOS, I can run Parallels; if I want flat-out performance and no haggling over ports/peripherals, restart in Boot Camp. I am happy with Parallels, altho I wish it was multiprocessor aware.

  4. @ Ralph M…

    I was a fan of Parallels, but after the last upgrade, I have had nothing but problems. I’ve been running (when needing Widoze) under Bootcamp. If I try running under Parallels, I get a bunch of licensing problems – wipes out my Vista license, and I need to reenter key, and a couple highly DRM’ed app’s, like SPSS stop working and require relicensing.

    Pain in the next – support @ Parallels has been no help. Reinstalls and all. I personally can’t recommend.

  5. Sorry, but I can’t let this go by.

    “VMware Fusion 2 makes my Mac a great PC”

    No. Apple’s Operating System makes a Mac a great PC. VMWare Fusion 2 allows one to run those few applications (excluding games) for which there is not a native version for the Mac.

    Now I can use all sorts of Windows-only applications that I would otherwise miss out on

    Translation – games

    It made switching to the Mac a total snap…

    No. You can thank Apple for that. Plus you’ll love their Geniuses.

    …and makes it easy to run Windows apps on my Mac.”

    1) Well we tried but you insisted on installing Windows on your Mac.
    2) Tell the application developer to make a native version for the Mac.

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