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VMWare Fusion 3.1

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VMWare Fusion Editor's Review

VMWare Fusion is a virtualization application that gives you the possibility to use multiple operating systems at the same time.

VMWare Fusion is the direct competitor of Parallels Desktop. Basically, they do the same thing, but the difference between these applications is in some of the features that you can't find in both of them.

The first thing that the application requires is a serial number. Even though this is a public beta build, it won't work without a registration. You can register for free on the producer's Website. Even though the key is the same for all users, I won't publish it here in order to avoid legal issues.

After the application is properly installed, you can start right away to use your fresh virtual machine. The first thing that I looked for was to run the installed copy of Windows XP from this Mac via Boot Camp. Unfortunately VMWare doesn't have this kind of support. This kind of functionality is available only for Parallels.

The good thing about VMWare is its distribution of pre-configured operating systems that can be run by this application. I've downloaded a pre-configured copy of a Open Source Operating System, Ubuntu Edgy Eft. The virtual machine worked quite well during the tests.

Since Edgy Eft is a desktop distribution, I tried to simulate an every day usage of this OS. The guest operating system behaved quite well. The speed of the guest OS was quite good.

VMWare Fusion has a very flexible hardware configuration of its virtual machines. Behind its interface, the application hides a quite strong engine. VMWare Inc. has a lot of experience with virtualization software for Windows and Linux. This product looks like a strong one, but in its early time of development.

VMWare Fusion uses the set of programs called VMWare Tools on this version too. With VMWare Tools installed, the guest operating system has a better integration with the virtualization software, a better speed and stability, and, of course, better driver support.

Pluses: it can run operating systems as a virtual machine, it has good flexibility, it can use operating systems that are freely distributed over the Internet.

Drawbacks / flaws: it can't run an operating system that has been installed via Boot Camp, the current operating systems sometimes have poor driver support for VMWare.

In conclusion: if you need a virtualization application, this is a quite good solution. On the other hand, Parallels Desktop does a great job, and some of the stuff that's available in Parallels you won't get in VMWare Fusion. Since the testing is free, you can decide by testing them which one suites you best.

version reviewed: 1.0 (BETA)

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