VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has launched VMware Fusion 4, which provides an easy way for users to run Windows applications with Mac simplicity. The new version is available at the introductory price (until the end of the year) of £39.99.
VMware Fusion 4 can run more than 200 operating systems, including Mac OS X Lion Client and Server versions, making it the most compatible computer virtualisation tool. It boasts 90 new features, and has been designed for OS X Lion with new full screen features, Launchpad, gesture support and more. Now, users can add Windows programs to Launchpad, experience them in Mission Control, view them in full screen or switch between them using Mac gestures.
VMware Fusion 4 means that users can use Windows-only devices on a Mac, plus there is added virtual Bluetooth support. A Windows VM can access Bluetooth devices running through Bluetooth on the Mac OS.
There is the option to add Windows programs to the OS X Dock and command tab between Windows and Mac applications, plus the ability to copy and paste or drag and drop between Windows and Mac environments. As with Parallels Switch to Mac version, users can bring their entire PC to their Mac with the migration assistant, which transfers Windows, all programs, files and settings from the PC to the Mac. Video tutorials are also available via a website. The only thing missing is the transfer cable, but the price is far lower.
There are three viewing options in VMware Fusion 4. Users can view Windows in a single window on their Mac, as Full Screen (use four finger swipe to switch between OS X and Windows), or there is the option to run Windows programs without seeing Windows itself. Windows programs can also be searched for from Spotlight, for a faster way of finding applications.
VMware has also made design changes to the way Snapshots work, integrating them better with Time Machine so that backups are smaller and faster.
VMware have engineered Fusion 4 to run Windows and Mac applications side by side faster. It is optimised for multi-core Macs and delivers 3D graphics up to 2.5x faster than previous versions of Fusion. VMware claims that Fusion 4 is faster than the recently introducced Parallels 7.
With any purchase of VMware Fusion 4, customers will receive 18 months of free email support and 12 months of virus protection for the Windows partitian of your virtual machine.
In a nod to VMware's traditional enterprise audience, encryption of virtual machines is available.
VMware Fusion 4 is available for download here, or you can choose to receive a boxed product, which contains both a DVD and USB drive containing the software, with a nod to Apple's decision to remove the optical drive from recent Masc. If you have purchased VMware Fusion 3 since OS X Lion launched on 20 July 2011 are eligible for a free electronic upgrade to VMware Fusion 4.