Virtualization is a hot topic right now, and Apple has taken notice. Leopard ships with an embedded version of Boot Camp to allow users to run their own copy of Windows XP (Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista on the Mac.

Enterprise users who need to use older versions of Windows, or plan to virtualize a Linux-based operating system such as RHEL or SUSE, often turn to VMware's Fusion. Existing Fusion users who upgrade to Leopard will want to also download VMware's free software update, Fusion 1.1, to get the most out of Leopard.

"VMware Fusion is the perfect complement to Mac OS X Leopard," says Pat Lee, senior product manager of Mac Products at VMware. "It seamlessly works with existing Boot Camp partitions, so users get the best of both worlds and run Windows applications off their existing Boot Camp partition at the same time as Mac applications so they are not forced to choose between Windows or Mac at startup time."

Fusion has also been updated to support Leopard's Time Machine backup feature. Lee explains, "With the Snapshot feature, VMware Fusion captures the exact state of the virtual machine, including all items stored on the virtual disk from installed applications to user created data. In addition to capturing the virtual disk, it also remembers all open applications and data stored in memory. The Snapshot feature allows users to roll back to their virtual machines to that ideal, well-known state in case a new application or website causes Windows problems."

Leopard marks the sixth major release of Mac OS X, and with the inclusion of so many business-friendly features, it appears that Apple is finding new ways to embrace the enterprise Mac community. With an easy upgrade process and robust data protection features, the IT community may embrace it right back.