VMware: Fusion 4.1 Client OS X Virtualization a ‘Bug’
Uh oh. It looks as though VMware made a huge mistake in letting users virtualize older client versions of Mac OS X on Mac OS X Lion. Turns out, Apple’s EULA really only allows “server” versions of older versions of Mac OS X to be virtualized. The result? VMware is launching a fix. Read on for the details …
If you love your newfound “bug” in VMware Fusion 4.1, you’re probably fine if you never upgrade. In fact, if you act now, you probably can still get your hands on Fusion 4.1. And knowing how things work on the Internet, it’s likely installs of Fusion 4.1 will continue to float around, working perfectly fine with a valid serial key from VMware.
But all things being ‘legal’, this inadvertent grace period isn’t likely to last. According to the VMware Fusion Blog:
VMware Fusion 4.1 was released late last week and includes many great improvements. One change was the introduction of a new license verification step for users to verify they are in compliance with the OS licensing terms.
When the license verification step was added in VMware Fusion 4.1 the server edition check was omitted. We are preparing an update.
Running Mac OS X client in a virtual machine continues to require Lion (purchased from the Mac App Store or a USB thumb drive.) Users should always ensure they remain in compliance with any applicable software license agreements.
The response on the blog is essentially that of disappointment and outrage, while other wry users simply seem to have shrug their collective digital shoulders and said, “I just won’t upgrade.” But some users have actively taken to change the entire OS X virtualization landscape. One user, “dmk,” posted a letter he e-mailed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, which urged Cook to change Apple’s stance on OS X virtualization. The user opined:
Not only will it make my life and the life of other users of Rosetta legacy software easier, but it also makes it possible for me to upgrade to a new Mac that will not run Snow Leopard natively. I have held back from getting a new MacBook Air because I knew I wouldn’t be able to boot into Snow Leopard.
Rosetta and PowerPC applications are the biggest appeal for older versions of OS X virtualization. Apple often leaves the past in the past, which is why Lion dropped Rosetta. Some users have commented that they’re developers, and virtualizing two older versions of OS X helps them test and maintain applications across the three most recent versions of OS X for compatibility. While it can’t be said that Apple will change its virtualization rules, Cook isn’t Steve Jobs and it’s possible Cook would be open to some more flexible EULA terms.
But wait! There’s still one last workaround. Simply buy the server version OS X you want. Yes, it might be more expensive, but if your virtualization needs are that important, the price tag shouldn’t hurt too bad for the long-run gains. You might even find discs on e-Bay relatively cheap. Meanwhile, chime in and let us know if you think Apple will ever change its virtualization stance.