VMware Fusion for Mac

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Seamlessly run Windows, Linux and other PC operating systems on your Intel-based Mac.

Seamlessly run Windows applications alongside Mac applications with the Unity features in VMware Fusion ($79.99). Find and launch Windows applications quickly with the VMware Fusion launcher. Switch between Windows and Mac applications quickly with Exposé. Minimize Windows applications to the Mac OS X Dock.

Considering that I am not a big user of Windows on a Mac at all I have tried a pretty good selection of the options available: Crossover I really liked, but was frustrated with the limited applications available at the time, Parallels I was OK with and Sands still uses on her iMac but I found too frustrating having either the full screen option or a small unmanageable window (Sands only uses it once a month at most to check some old account files). I also struggled somewhat with the file structure as it wasn’t really that well integrated. Bootcamp I have never had any interest in as I have no desire to start my Mac up in anything other than OS X!

I think I first read about VMware Fusion over on Paul’s site and he gives a very good account of it there. I subsequently read a great comparison over on Crave’s site that I wont trouble repeating – but I will give the end away ………… “Fusion proves to be a faster performing platform than Parallels. Additionally, in our anecdotal hands-on testing we found Fusion to be somewhat more stable than Parallels”

Thoughts & Impressions

First up, this is very very easy to install and set up. After you have downloaded it and run it you are asked to put the OS disc in that you require, and it gives you the option to enter the relevant license details (XP) and off you go. Once installed you are offered a screen which allows you to determine which OS you want run:

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Next up one of the great features – if when you closed down your previous session you chose to suspend it then the speed with which it powers up is very impressive:

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Next the two features that really impressed me, the ability to access the files on the OS X structure i.e. it shares the file that you already have which makes it very very useful, and second the ability to move, resize and generally treat the window as if it was regular OS X window.

It is a while since I looked at Parallels and the version I have is pretty old so I don’t know if these are options in the latest version, but this isn’t a comparative review so I will happily leave that for people to work out for themselves.

What I can confirm is that I find using Fusion a totally seamless process in terms of speed, integration with OS X, files and printers, so overall I am very happy with it indeed. And as that is what they say it is meant to do it has to be said that this is an excellent application.

What They Say

Bring Unity to Windows and Mac OS X

Say goodbye to the Start menu and Taskbar and run Windows applications directly from the Dock. Minimize Windows applications to the Dock, switch between Windows or Mac applications with Exposé, find and instantly launch any Windows application, drag and drop files between Windows and the Mac, and use familiar Mac keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste between Windows and Mac applications.

Run Windows on your Mac—no reboot required

VMware Fusion makes it easy to install and run Windows, Linux and other operating systems on your Intel-based Mac as virtual machines, giving you the power to use multiple operating systems simultaneously—and without rebooting your computer.

Install Windows on your Mac with unparalleled ease

Installing Windows has never been easier, thanks to the Windows Easy Install feature in VMware Fusion. Just answer a few simple questions and insert your Windows installation disc—VMware Fusion will automatically create a Windows virtual machine that is optimized for your Mac. You can also use the New Virtual Machine Assistant to create virtual machines that can run Windows, Linux, BSD or any of the more than 60 different operating systems supported by VMware Fusion.

Break out of Boot Camp

Already running Windows XP on your Mac using Apple Boot Camp? No problem. VMware Fusion automatically detects your Boot Camp partition and lets you access it as a virtual machine, giving you the flexibility to run Windows XP alone or side-by-side with Mac OS X.

Make the switch

VMware Fusion makes it easier than ever for Windows users to make the switch to a Mac. Use the free VMware Converter Starter Edition to transform your Windows PC into a VMware Fusion-compatible virtual machine, then copy the virtual machine from your PC to your Mac.

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7 thoughts on “VMware Fusion for Mac

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    I thought Fusion was great. I thought it would make a big deal out of switching over my Windows XP license, and I’d be calling to get a new number and all that mess. Nope. Took a couple seconds, then automatically authorized it.

    What I liked about it is that it keeps the whole operating system and programs, all of it in it’s own VM “package file”, so if you want to uninstall it, boom. It’s gone.

    I was thinking about installing XP again for one reason only. Netflix rentals. Netflix, along with your allotment of videos you get a month, you can also access about 17 hours worth of streaming movies. Guess what? Windows XP ONLY. They say they will come out with Mac compatibility, but who knows when. Like you, though, I have no other reason to have W on my machine at all. (Especially with Numbers out.)

    My take on it though it’s the slickest VM yet. (Though I haven’t seen the latest Parallels, either.) I didn’t like P at first because it didn’t do Ubuntu. Not sure now, but Fusion does.

  2. Mac Sokulski

    The latest version on Parallels is pretty much the same as Fusion in term of feature set. The only thing that sets them apart is the Fusion’s ability to access all the cores of the processor. For simple tasks I think both are pretty much the same. One thing I found with testing was that Fusion was nicer on the resources. Then again Parallels is simpler and more logical to configure. One example that comes to mind was network. Parallels automatically uses either the wired and wireless network in Windows, in Fusion I had to add another Network (it does not specify what it is, just network), to get the wireless working in Windows. I think both are great tools to get that little bit of nostalgia, and to remind yourself why you switched 🙂 Can’t go wrong with either of them.

  3. Robert

    because of school i’m stuck with a dualboot with XP and OSX on my macbook. But with vmware fusion i can now run xp in bootcamp and in vmware, it’s really great. If i have to use a windows only app i use vmware, but if i have to use microsoft virtual server i boot to windows with bootcamp.

    I like the speed of vmware and the easyness to aquire additional operating systems. A few days ago i had to use debian sarge for school and i just downloaded the vmware ready image from the interweb and in a few minutes i had it running!

    It’s really worth the money in my opinion.

  4. Gary

    Fusion is the one I’ll go with when I step up to the virtualisation line shortly. I have the UK distribution of Parallels v2 at work and was never happy with it. (All my Windows work is done via the Remote Desktop Connection – the new beta is working very well – either on a terminal server for miscellaneous things or directly on the servers I’m involved with administering.)

    Part of the reason I was unhappy with it was because the machine’s performance with the 1GB RAM I have on my iMac (which is fine for everything else) was rubbish when Parallels was active (not surprisingly).

    NB if Fusion can freely access all your Mac files, then your Mac has just become vulnerable to Windows viruses – I hope you’re practicing safe Windows, with appropriate protection! The Mac won’t “catch” them, but files could be damaged or deleted. I hope you’re referring to an optional shared folder that you can map as a drive to the Windows side – like I seem to recall Parallels (and VPC before that) can do.

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