updated 09:13 am EDT, Wed September 4, 2013
Mavericks optimizations, Haswell support included in new version
VMware has revealed the latest versions of its virtualization suites, designed for use on OS X Mavericks and ready for the upcoming Windows 8.1 release. VMware Fusion 6 is said by the company to have more than 50 new features, with VMware Fusion 6 Professional adding more extras aimed towards enterprise and corporate uses.
The new Fusion 6 is able to use all displays connected to the Mac, as well as advanced dictation support, thanks to Mavericks. Windows 8.1 support extends to allowing users to run Windows Store applications next to Mac applications, with Windows Store applications now accessible in Launchpad and the Applications folder, and can be placed in the dock in Unity mode. It has also been optimized for the latest Macs, including Intel Haswell processors, with users now able to create virtual machines with support for up to 16 vCPUs, 8TB virtual disks, and up to 64GB of memory.
Fusion 6 Professional builds upon the consumer version by adding more customizable restrictions to virtual machines, allowing IT managers more control over deployment to desktops. Virtual machines can also be set to expire at a specific date and time, making it useful for contractors and other time-limited applications. Users can be prevented from creating new virtual machines or accessing specific applications, limiting the number of potential support calls and increasing security, while Linked Clones will allow users to create multiple copies of a virtual machine without duplicating the original disk's contents with each install.
VMware Fusion 6 and Fusion 6 Professional are available to download for $60 and $130 respectively. Buyers of Fusion 5 that purchased the software between August 1st and September 30th will be able to perform a free electronic upgrade to Fusion 6 at no cost. Fusion 4 and Fusion 5 owners can upgrade to Fusion 6 for $50, or to Professional for $70.
At the same time, VMware released Workstation 10, aimed at those that rely on virtual machines on a daily basis. Workstation 10 allows its Easy Install option to recognize Windows 8.1 and new Linux distributions for easier virtual machine creation, and can convert Windows 8.1 installs into virtual machines using a wizard. Just as in Fusion 6, it can create virtual machines with 16 vCPUs, 64GB of memory, and 8TB drives, with a new vSATA controller and twice as many virtual networks now supported. Expiring virtual machines, virtual tablet sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, and the ability to build a cloud on a PC are also included.
VMware Workstation 10 can be downloaded at a cost of $250. Just as for Fusion 6, owners of Workstation 8.x and 9.x can upgrade for $120, and those buying Workstation 9 in August and September can electronically upgrade to Workstation 10 for free.