VMWare Releases Beta Desktop Virtualization for OS X


VMWare announced the release of Beta 2 for the OS X version of VMWare Desktop, codename Fusion, today. Fusion has a Cocoa-native interface that runs Windows apps side-by-side with OS X windows. Parallels has recently released a similar feature that they call "Coherence."

I make increasing use of virtualization in my everyday work. For example, I needed to give my students a consistent development environment for a large chunk of code we're working on. We just created an image and let them download the whole machine.

I suspect that VMWare wouldn't be paying the Mac a lick of attention if it weren't for Parallels. I'm happy to have more than one player in the market--a little competition is always a good thing for end users. Parallels emerged from beta this week with new features that include Vista support and the aforementioned Coherence. If nothing else, I suspect it will cause some price reduction in Parallels.

I'm on a EVDO card right now, so I didn't download it. But I will--I'm anxious to see what it's like. It would be nice when I'm working with people using Linux or Windows boxes to have a single image that we all use. The new Parallels can convert a VMWare image and use it, but why go to the extra work if you don't have to?