Ars Technica reviews VMware Fusion 3: A solid choice for running Windows, Windows apps on your Mac

“VMware has released the latest version of the popular Mac virtualization package, Fusion 3 [US$69], and Ars puts it through its paces with a battery of benchmarks and usage scenarios,” Dave Girard reports for Ars Technica.

“The VMware interface was always very functional with decent integration, but version 3 makes some welcome tweaks. The menus have been rearranged and the hub of interacting with VMs, the Virtual Machine Library, got an overhaul to make it more welcoming,” Girard reports. “Those are all pretty unremarkable except for the new switcher-friendly ability to convert a Windows PC to a VM. While the ‘Connect your PC to your Mac with a simple Ethernet cable’ migration tool is cool, if you install Apple’s Bonjour for Windows, you can automatically discover your PC on the network and do the import that way.”

VMware Fusion has always had a stable, fast foundation, and version 3 continues to impress by pulling off a seemingly flawless 64-bit transition. The buggy OpenGL 2.1 is really the only major failing of version 3, but it’s bad enough that the random apps tested were unusable,” Girard reports. “If you don’t plan on running any OpenGL apps any time soon, it’s an easily recommended upgrade and a solid choice if you’re new to virtualization.”

Read the extremely comprehensive (as usual) Ars review – recommended – here.


  1. I tried both Fusion 3 and Parallels 5 and I personally like Parallels better. My iMac is the original 20″ Intel (white model) and Parallels runs XP a lot faster and smoother for me. Overall, it is more enjoyable to use.

  2. You can download both trials and try it out. The cool thing is that they will both upgrade but make copies so they don’t get in each others way and you can try out each independently and decide for yourself. I have both running (not at the same time) and that is how I found out that for my hardware (4 years old) Parallels works a lot better.

  3. While VMWare was in beta I was running both (I think that was back with Parallels 3?) and VMWare beta ran better than Parallels 3, with that experience (and having run VMWare on other systems before switching to Macs) I decided to go with VMWare, I still have the box for Parallels 3 somewhere around here but exclusively use VMWare.

  4. @GriffinFX – I didn’t know that. I have had VMware Fusion license for the last 3 years and I have never called so hopefully won’t have to call Parallels either ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  5. My experience with VMware Fusion is good. As others have noted, I have found their technical support to be professional, very good with follow-up and quick to respond. I have not tried Parallels, so I will leave it for others to comment about it. If Fusion 3 works nicely with the basic Windows apps, then it’s time for me to make the jump to Snow Leopard.

    Any experience that others have had with running Windows XP and Orifice 2007 with VMware Fusion 3 would be most welcome.

    If I had my way, I’d drop Windows altogether. My employer is still running Exchange Server 2003, which still locks me into using the RAM whore of all time, Outlook 2007. And because of resolution differences between Windows and OS-X that reflows graphics and pagination in Word and PowerPoint (I much prefer using Pages and Keynote), I’m stuck with an inferior OS and apps on my Mac. It’s sad to think that what’s holding me back are inferior products…

    P.S. I LOVE my new Magic Mouse! It rocks!

  6. Why are the tech writer bozos now using the term “apps” incorrectly.

    The term app refers to a mobile application. Desktop applications are not apps, they are applications.

    Steve Jobs coined the term with the app store.

  7. Could be a good idea to compile a list of the most important software substitution so instead of running windows on your mac, just use the native application. I believe Autocad still not OSX native, but there is tons of programs and options. Some times, there is no direct substitute for Microsoft (no access on MS Office for Mac) but there are good alternatives like Bento.

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