VMware Debuts Workstation 9, Fusion 5 for Windows 8, Mountain Lion

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

August 24, 2012

3 Min Read
VMware Debuts Workstation 9, Fusion 5 for Windows 8, Mountain Lion

VMware (NYSE: VMW) has rolled out Workstation 9 and Fusion 5 for Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Apple’s Mountain Lion operating systems, lining up its virtualization support for the new operating systems ahead of VMworld 2012. Here’s the update.

Workstation is VMware’s hypervisor for desktops that enables users to run multiple operating systems (such as Windows and Linux) on the same machine while Fusion allows users to operate Windows, including Windows 8, on Macs. Workstation typically is used by technical professionals to work with virtual machines residing on PCs or private clouds.

“Workstation 9 builds on its broad operating system support, rich user experience, and comprehensive feature set to bring you best-in-class Windows 8 support, all new Web interface, restricted virtual machines and much more,” said Michael Paiko, VMware Workstation group product manager, in a blog post.

VMware said that Workstation 9 was constructed to run on Windows 8 and run Windows 8 virtual machines. The upgrade from the prior version includes graphics improvements, additional password requirements, support for HTML 5 and USB 3.0, and Hyper-V added to the guest operating system list.

The Workstation 9 software is priced at $249 and is available either directly from the vendor’s online store or through channel partners and distributors. Upgrades from 7.x and 8.x are offered at $119 through the same buying options. There is no upgrade option for VMware Workstation versions 1.x – 6.x.

Customers who bought VMware Workstation 8 (either full license or upgrade) between August 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012 can receive a free electronic upgrade under the VMware Workstation 9 Technology Guarantee Program (TGP). Customers with an active support and subscription contract are eligible to upgrade to Workstation 9 for free in the My VMware portal.

Here’s a partial list of Workstation 9 upgrades from the prior version. A complete list can be found here.

  • Easy Install has been enhanced to recognize Windows 8. Workstation 9 has been enhanced to support the Windows 8 user interface.

  • Graphics enhancements include a display-only graphics driver that can render 3D in Windows 8 without hardware acceleration, an improved Windows XP graphics driver.

  • Workstation 9 includes enhancements to the virtual graphics device to improve the overall speed and accuracy of rendering OpenGL graphics in Linux virtual machines.

  • New capability allows the author of an encrypted virtual machine to require users to enter an additional password to change their virtual machine settings.

  • Prototype of a new VMware Workstation web interface that enables users to access their Shared virtual machines via a web browser on a tablet, smart phone or PC without installing any additional applications or browser plug-ins.

  • Supports attaching USB 3.0 devices to Windows 8 virtual machines.

  • New management option to easily recover disk space.

  • VMware Player user interface has been completely revamped to conform to Windows standards, menus updated, added device icons. Now available for commercial use.

Fusion 5 upgrade

Alongside the Workstation 9 release, VMware also rolled out Fusion 5 and Fusion 5 Professional, software that enables users to run Windows on a Mac. This version has been revamped to take advantage of the latest features in Mountain Lion, VMware said.

“While the number of users adopting Macs continue to rise, the business environment is still dominated by Windows,” said Jason Joel, VMware director, personal products.

Fusion 5 key features include:

  • Constructed for Mountain Lion, supports Launchpad and uses “AirPlay Mirroring” to stream Mac and Windows applications on an HDTV.

  • Supports Windows 8 standard, pro and enterprise editions.

  • Compatibility with Mountain Lion, retina display optimization, USB 3.0, improved support for large memory Macs.

  • Up to 40 percent faster general performance speeds, improved power management, faster 3D graphics.

Both the standard and Professional versions of Fusion 5 are available by download at the vendor’s web site priced at $49.99 and $99.99, respectively. Customers who have purchased VMware Fusion 4 on or after July 25, 2012 are eligible for an electronic upgrade to VMware Fusion 5 at no additional cost.

Volume pricing for corporate users is available from select resellers and the VMware Store.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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