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VMWare Fusion 4 is a software package for Intel Macs that allows you to configure and run virtual machines from within Mac OS X. You'll be able to run Windows, DOS, Linux, and other x86 operating systems side-by-side from within OS X, without having to reboot. Because this version of VMWare Fusion is designed for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, it meshes well with the numerous innovations unique to Lion. You can add Windows programs to Launchpad, operate them in Mission Control, view them in full screen, or switch between them using Mac gestures. You can run virtual machines and take a Time Machine-like snapshot so as to capture the state of the machine at any given time for extra protection. The user-interface is updated with a more "Mac" look when working in a Windows virtualized machine. Plus, you can also run Mac OS X Lion and Lion Server as guest operating systems.
Beyond features related to Lion, this version of VMWare Fusion boasts other innovations. It supports 3-D graphics up to 2.5 times greater for some 3D programs than the previous version. It features improved support for AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Altium Designer on Windows XP and Windows 7. You can suspend your virtual machine and utilize the "Resume" function to get back into Windows or whatever operating system that you have virtualized. You can encrypt and password-protect your virtual machines. You can pair some Bluetooth devices with Windows Guest systems. You can also install an operating system onto your Mac from a CD or DVD drive on another Mac or Windows computer.
Along with the above new or improved features, you'll still be able to use all of your favorite, and sometimes necessary, Windows applications on your Mac. The software is optimized so that the programs run well, and even supports the advanced Aero graphics found in Windows Vista and 7.
Because Fusion runs Windows applications side-by-side with native Mac programs, you can seamlessly copy-and-paste between applications, drag-and-drop files, and print without headaches.
Switchers will appreciate Fusion's Migration Assistant module. Install it on your PC and you can transfer all of your Windows data from your PC to your Mac via a cable or wirelessly. You'll be greeted with guided instructions to walk you through the process. You can also migrate virtual machines from Boot Camp, Parallels, or Virtual PC with ease.
Additions to VMWare Fusion
New Installation Experience
VMware Fusion is now installed by dragging and dropping to the Applications folder. Users of older versions can upgrade using the included utility. VMware Fusion can be uninstalled by quitting the application and dragging it to the trash.
Updated User Interface
VMware Fusion includes a new user interface designed to maximize screen space dedicated to running virtual machines. By keeping the interface minimal, they have improved user productivity for Windows applications. It is now more consistent with the overall Mac desktop experience than previous versions of VMware Fusion.
The new user interface includes the following key features:
The Single-window experience is optimized around each running virtual machine, keeping related options and settings together. A new collapsible toolbar provides quick access to common virtual machine actions including switching networks, connecting and disconnecting devices, and sharing options. The Control-Alt-Delete key combination is now available as a menu button.
The Virtual Machine Library Welcome Screen has been refreshed to make it easier to get up and running quickly.
The Virtual Machine Library is updated with thumbnails of virtual machine desktops and shortcuts to common activities.
The Settings have been redesigned to make it easier to perform common tasks. New settings subsections for Compatibility, Default Applications and Startup Disk are included.
The Snapshot Viewer provides powerful new features for working with snapshots using a timeline-based view, inspired by Time Machine.
Designed for Lion
VMware Fusion 4 is designed for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and includes support for using Mission Control to switch between Mac and Windows applications. Support for Spaces and Exposé has also been improved to make it easier to switch between applications.
Guest Operating Systems: Mac OS X Lion and Mac OS X Lion Server are now supported as guest operating systems. Mac OS X Lion can be installed by dragging the Lion installer icon to the virtual machine wizard.
Launchpad: Optimized to leverage key technologies available in OS X Lion, VMware Fusion 4 lets you customize Launchpad to also include your favorite Windows applications so you can launch them in one click.
Mission Control: Optimized for OS X Lion, VMware Fusion enables your Windows applications to be viewed in Mission Control so you have a bird's-eye view of not just your OS X Lion applications but all your Windows applications as well.
Full Screen Windows Program: With VMware Fusion 4, Windows programs can be viewed in full screen so every pixel of your screen real estate is utilized. You can even have multiple full screen Windows programs in Spaces and swipe between them.
Gestures Integration: Experience your Windows programs like Mac applications In Unity mode and use OS X Lion gestures to toggle between full screen Windows and Mac applications, access Exposé, show Launchpad, view Mission Control or show your desktop.
Ultrafast Resume: Just like OS X Lion's "resume" feature, VMware Fusion allows you to suspend Windows and resume it in even less time than before so you can get back to exactly where you left off without having to reboot Windows and waste precious time.
Virtual Hardware Improvements
As always, VMware continues to improve our virtual hardware performance and capabilities. You must upgrade the hardware version of your existing VMs or create a new VM in order to get the best features and performance from your virtual machines. Upgrade the hardware version of your virtual machine from the new virtual machine settings page under Compatibility.
An HD Audio device is available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 guests. The new HD Audio device takes advantage of the latest sound drivers provided with Windows and produces high sound quality even under heavy load.
Bluetooth devices on the host can now be shared with Windows guests. Bluetooth devices, such as a Bluetooth phone, are paired to either the host system or to a Windows virtual machine. VMware does not recommend pairing Bluetooth audio devices, such as headphones, or Bluetooth input devices, such as keyboards and mice to a guest.
Link-state propagation enables applications to seamlessly communicate when using NAT-based networking even when moving between networks. For example, communication between applications will continue seamlessly when you move from a wired network to a wireless network.
VMware Fusion 4 is up to 2.5 times faster than VMware Fusion 3 for some 3D operations. Improved support for AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Altium Designer on Windows XP and Windows 7 is also included.
Encrypted Virtual Machines
Fusion now enables security best practices by providing virtual disk encryption using industry-standard AES-128. Encryption can require a per-virtual-machine password whenever the virtual machine is powered on.
Pause State for Virtual Machines
The new Pause state suspends the virtual machine while retaining the in-memory state. This state can be useful when system resources will temporarily be taxed and the guest virtual machine is not immediately needed.
Remote CD and DVD Drives
Remote CD and DVD drives shared from another Windows PC or Mac are supported for installing operating systems on virtual machines.
Shrinking Disks with Snapshots
VMware Fusion now supports shrinking virtual disks without the need to remove the snapshots first. Shrinking virtual disks without removing snapshots allows users to maintain their virtual machines and reclaim disk space more easily than in previous releases of VMware Fusion. Look for the new virtual machine clean up capability under the General section of the virtual machine settings.
Downloads and Movies folders are now mirrored from the Mac.
Support for creating OVF-format virtual machines is provided by the standalone OVF tool. This tool is available for download from the manufacturer.
Other Technical Changes
VMware Fusion 4 is now 64-bit throughout. In addition, services and kernel extensions are loaded and unloaded on-demand. The application can now be run from non-standard folder locations. The PC Migration Wizard has been updated to provide even faster migration.
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later; OS X Lion (10.7) recommended
Processor: Any 64-bit capable Intel Mac. (Compatible with Core 2 Duo, Xeon, i3, i5, i7 processors or better)
RAM: 2 GB (4 GB or more recommended)
Hard Drive Space: 750MB free disk space for VMware Fusion and at least 5GB for each virtual machine
Other: Microsoft Windows is NOT included with this product.
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Pros: Drag-and-drop install, Easy to use Virtual Machine Library, Windows anti-virus protection, Time Machine-like snapshots of system, Supports OS X Lion virtual machines...Cons: Limited video RAM in Windows, No OpenGL acceleration in Linux...Macworld: http://www.macworld.com/article/1163440/vmware_fusion_4.html