VMware releases Fusion and Workstation updates

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VMware releases Fusion and Workstation updates

Major desktop virtualisation overhaul.

VMware has announced updates to its Fusion and Workstation products, claiming to offer improvements across the board.

VMware Fusion 3.1 is a free update for current customers, and promises to increase performance when running Windows on a Mac computer.

"We are excited to deliver the fastest and most reliable Windows on Mac experience available with VMware Fusion 3.1," said Pat Lee, director for personal desktop products at VMware.

"Customers asked for better graphics performance and more speed for their Windows applications, and we incorporated their feedback to deliver significant performance gains without disrupting reliability."

Fusion 3.1 has some 20 new features, according to VMware, including faster application launching, seamless scrolling, quicker resumes, better disk performance and enhanced "end-to-end performance".

The graphics improvements have earned it support from Autodesk, which has recommended its use for AutoCAD 2011.

Connections have been made easier, and VMware said that it is now much simpler to switch an entire PC to a Mac using an Ethernet cable, FireWire cable or wireless network. USB keys can be assigned to the software, and VMware said that the system remembers previous settings.

Fusion 3.1 has additional support for eight-way symmetric multiprocessing, and an increased virtual hard disk size from 950GB to 2TB.

VMware Workstation 7.1, meanwhile, is also a free upgrade for current users, and offers 10 new features, including graphics tweaks and better Windows 7 integration.

"Workstation 7.1 provides the best way for technical professionals to quickly learn about Windows 7, check application compatibility and test corporate images all on their PC," said Lee.

"Workstation's excellent Windows 7 performance and integration makes it easy for technical professionals to learn, test and demo new platforms and technologies like Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 without disrupting their current PC environments."

The latest version also supports operating systems including Ubuntu 8.04.4, Ubuntu 10.04, OpenSUSE 11.2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, Fedora 12, Debian 5.0.4, Mandriva 2009, the firm said.

Performance has been optimised for Intel's Core i3, i5, i7 processor family, which should allow for faster virtual machine encryption and decryption, and VMware said that it could support virtual machines with eight virtual processors (or eight virtual cores) and 2TB virtual disks.

The Fusion and Workstation upgrades are free for current users, but new adopters will have to pay.

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