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VMware Fusion updated to support Windows 10, but with bug in Unity mode

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A week after Parallels was updated to support Windows 10, VMware has followed suit with an update to its Fusion software – but with a bug when used in Unity mode. Unity mode is where Windows apps are run alongside Mac ones.

Fusion was today updated to version 8, with performance improvements as well as Windows 10 compatibility, but the company has confirmed a bug identified by ArsTechnica in which the Windows Start screen is sometimes unavailable (above left) and at other times has the search bar covered by the Mac’s dock (above right). When unavailable, the Toggle Start Screen option is greyed-out … 

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VMware Fusion 6: optimized for new operating systems, hardware, and more powerful VMs [Review]

VMware Fusion 6

Prologue: I’ve been a Parallels Desktop user since the Windows XP days (and recently reviewed the latest version, Parallels Desktop 9). However, I’ve always been watchful of VMware and their offerings. This review of Fusion 6 is from my perspective as a Parallels user and potential switcher.

Mac users who need to pull up Windows, Linux, or guest OS X virtual machines usually don’t care too much for the whistles and bells of the virtualization software – they simply want a solid, fast experience to get in, run professional programs or play a few games, and get out. For VMware Fusion users in particular, they tend to care more about the CPU performance for professional apps rather than 3D graphics and frame rates. 

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VMware Fusion 6 released: ready to take advantage of Haswell processors and upcoming Mavericks features

VMware Fusion 6

VMware has just released the immediate availability of VMware Fusion 6 and VMware Fusion 6 Professional. The new version of the virtualization software boasts over 50 new features and is prepared for the new operating systems coming from both Apple (Mavericks) and Microsoft (Windows 8.1).

  • Supports Mavericks multi-display features and even AirPlay displays
  • Enhanced dictation support
  • Run Mavericks as a guest operating system – can be installed using the recovery partition in just a couple of clicks
  • Ready for Windows 8.1
  • Built-in optimizations for the Haswell processors
  • Up to 16 virtual CPUs, 64GB of RAM, and 8TB of disk space – ready for the new Mac Pro coming soon

VMware Fusion 6 is available exclusively on the VMware Online Store for $59.99 or $49.99 for VMware Fusion 4 or 5 upgraders. A 30 day trial is available as well.

The announcement comes just days after Parallels announced the release of Parallels Desktop 9, which is currently available as an upgrade. The full version will be available tomorrow. We’ll have a full review of both apps shortly.

Generally Parallels is geared toward single users and has better performance whereas VMware is geared toward larger enterprise and folks who also work on PCs. 

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Parallels 8 beats out VMware Fusion 5 in extensive benchmark analysis

MacTech Magazine, which recently announced its upcoming MacTech BootCamp II, today looked at two of the most popular virtualization products for Mac with an in-depth benchmarking analysis of the most recent versions of Parallels Desktop 8 and VMware Fusion 5. We have seen Parallels 8 come out on top in benchmarks from previous reports, but this is by far the most comprehensive comparison.

MacTech put the two apps to the test in a number of areas including launching various OSes, application performance, 3D graphics tests, Retina Support, and much more. The conclusion: Parallels Desktop 8 won on the majority of general tests and 62 percent of 3D graphics tests.

In the vast majority of our overall tests, Parallels Desktop 8 won. Again, if you count up the general tests (including the top 3D graphics scores), Parallels won 56% of the tests by 10% or more. If you include all the tests where Parallels was at least 5% faster, as well as the balance of the 3DMark06 graphics tests, Parallels increased the lead further.

We recommend checking out MacTech’s lengthy analysis.

Parallels 8 for Mac currently sells for $55 on Amazon, while VMware Fusion 5 is available for as low as $46.99.

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Parallels 8 is a clear winner vs. VMware Fusion 5 in Ars shootout

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Ars put Parallels 8 against VMware Fusion this week and found there is not much of a contest between the two virtualization powerhouses. Parallels 8 out-gunned VMware across the board (as previous benchmarks have shown) performance-wise and adds full support for Retina displays and dictation among other features.

Neither Parallels Desktop 8 or VMWare Fusion 5 are loaded to the gills with new features, so the PD8 update from version 7 is only a must-have if you are looking for Windows 8 or retina MacBook support in Windows 7 or 8. If you need retina support, this is your best option since Parallels did the extra work and made it a better retina experience than in VMWare Fusion 5. The Mountain Lion dictation and experimental DirectX 10 support show that, while Parallels tends to have more frequent paid updates and a higher price-tag, they try to earn the extra value with well thought out features and engineering. Apart from the bugs I saw in Mountain Lion 8, I think Parallels Desktop 8 earns that extra cost with its solid performance, far superior Linux OpenGL support, and existing feature set. But if your needs are more big-business-oriented, VMWare Fusion 5 Pro might be more your thing.

VMware Fusion might fit better into cross-platform installations or for folks with legacy VMware images.

Parallels 8 is available for download or trial here for $79. VMware starts at $49.

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Parallels 8 vs. VMWare Fusion 5 Benchmarks

The Mac Observer just benchmarked Parallels Desktop 8 against its main Mac Desktop virtualization competitor, VMware Fusion 5.

Both applications were configured to virtualize Windows on a 2011 27-inch iMac running on OS X 10.8.1 at 3.4 GHz with 16 GB of RAM for this showdown. The comparison specifically measured their ability to handle the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8 Pro.

Check out the results below: 

The conclusion:

From a purely performance-based perspective, Parallels has won this year’s competition of virtualization software on OS X. The good news for consumers, however, is that Fusion is not far behind in most categories and, while Parallels is indeed faster, Fusion is often fast enough for common tasks.

You can get Parallels 8 here or VMware Fusion 5 here.

Go to The Mac Observer for the full breakdown and more graphs. 



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Poll: Which Mac software do you use for virtualization (Parallels, VMware Fusion, Virtual Box…)?

Both Parallels and VMware announced new versions of their software over the last 12 hours. Which software do you use to run Windows applications, if any? Do you Virtualize Linux or other builds of MacOS X?

Leave comments on your experience.

For the record, I have been using Parallels to deal with @#$% QuickBooks most recently, but off and on for years overall. VMware has also impressed me when I have tried it. Both products are so much better than the slow SoftWindows- type solutions we had in the PowerPC days.



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iTuneUp Bundle for iTunes: $30, Toast 11: $50, Voila Screencapture tool: $15

From 9to5Toys.com:

StackSocial offers the $30 TuneUp Bundle which offers to “Cleanup your iTunes Music Collection. Automagically.” The TuneUp Bundle (Lifetime License) includes:

Clean — Accurately fixes mislabeled or missing song information (like “Track 01” or “Unknown Artist”) using cutting-edge waveform recognition

Cover Art — Scans your entire music collection in seconds and automagically™ fills in missing album artwork

DeDuper— Intelligently finds and removes duplicate music files from your music library using waveform recognition

Tuniverse — Delivers music videos, artist bios, concert alerts, social network integration and more

(Stacksocial also offers Toast 11 for $50 and Voila screencapture tool for $15)



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MacUpdate Bundle: Parallels 7, BusyCal, Screenflow, Civ V, lots more, 11 Mac Apps: $49.99

From 9to5Toys.com:

MacUpdate has one of the better bundles we’ve seen on a wide-ranging set of Mac software. If you are like us and getting a new MacBook next week, you can load it up with software: You are getting a solid deal with the Parallels 7 headliner ($30 off retail), but then you get some great apps up and down the lineup basically for free including:

1) Parallels Desktop 7 ($79.99)
2) BusyCal ($49.99) (first 10,000 bundles)
3) ScreenFlow 3 ($99.00)
4) Civilization V ($39.99) Gods & Kings expansion pack for just $20
5) Jaksta ($49.95)
6) Espionage 3 ($19.99)
7) Attachment Tamer 3 ($14.99)
8) Speed Download 5 ($25.00)
9) KeyCue 6 ($28)
10) A Better Finder Rename 9 ($19.95)
11) My Living Desktop 5 ($29.95)

The total value is $456.80 — MacUpdate is $49.99, as always.

Full release follows:



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Ending Bundles: MacUpdate’s VMware, Drive Genius, PDFPen 5, Forklift, more: $49. iTuneUp for iTunes $30

From 9to5Toys.com:

Ending Saturday, StackSocial offers the $30 The TuneUp Bundle which offers to “Cleanup your iTunes Music Collection. Automagically.” The TuneUp Bundle (Lifetime License) includes:

• Clean — Accurately fixes mislabeled or missing song information (like “Track 01” or “Unknown Artist”) using cutting-edge waveform recognition

• Cover Art — Scans your entire music collection in seconds and automagically™ fills in missing album artwork

• DeDuper— Intelligently finds and removes duplicate music files from your music library using waveform recognition

• Tuniverse — Delivers music videos, artist bios, concert alerts, social network integration and more

Ending today, MacUpdate has one of the best bundles we have ever seen on a wide-ranging set of Mac software. You are breaking even with the VMware Fusion 4 headliner, but there are great apps up and down the lineup including Drive Genius disk utility, PDFPen 5 PDF editor, Snapheal photo editing, Forklift FTP/Finder Utility, Typinator 5. These are all great apps….

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MacUpdate Bundle: VMware, Drive Genius, PDFPen 5, Forklift, Snapheal, Typinator 5, more: $49.99

From 9to5Toys.com:

MacUpdate has one of the best bundles we have ever seen on a wide-ranging set of Mac software. You are breaking even with the VMware Fusion 4 headliner, but there are great apps up and down the lineup including Drive Genius disk utility, PDFPen 5 PDF editor, Snapheal photo editing, Forklift FTP/Finder Utility, Typinator 5. These are all great apps.

* 1. VMware Fusion 4 ($49.99)
* 2. Drive Genius 3 ($99.00)
* 3. PDFpen 5 ($59.95)
4. ForkLift 2.5 ($29.95)
* 5. Typinator 5 ($33.00)
* 6. DesktopShelves 2 ($14.99)
* 7. Snapheal ($14.99)
8. Boom [2-Mac Home Pack] ($10.99)
* 9. Phone to Mac ($24.95)
* 10. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition ($29.99)
* 11. Worms Special Edition ($9.99)

* = has never been in a bundle before

The total value is $377.79 — 78% off = $49.99, as always.

Full release follows:



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VMware Fusion update to “fix” Mac OS X client virtualization

VMware, the maker of a popular virtualization software Fusion, seems to be backpedalling on the last week’s release of VMware Fusion 4.1 for the Mac. As originally noted by Macworld, Fusion 4.1 was released with support for virtualization of Lion, Snow Leopard and Leopard clients. A dialog box pops up when installing an operating system client in Fusion 4.1, asking user to “verify” that they are in compliance with their software’s licensing terms.

In essence, this removes VMware from the position of having to evaluate and enforce Apple’s operating-system license, and instead leaves the decision in the hands of users.

In a new blog post today, VMware hinted an upcoming update will “fix” their “mistake”.

When the license verification step was added in VMware Fusion 4.1 the server edition check was omitted. We are preparing an update. […] Users should always ensure they remain in compliance with any applicable software license agreements.

Of course, per Apple’s EULA only server software is supposed to be virtualized and the above wording pretty much spells doom for Snow Leopard or Leopard client virtualization in the next Fusion release. At the end of the day, VMware is fixing Fusion the same way people fix their dogs. What is Apple’s official stance on this issue?



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MacTech declares Parallels 7 the Virtualization performance champ on the Mac

Windows/Linux Virtualization on the Mac is mostly a 3 player game these days. You have the open source/free VirtualBox that was purchased by Oracle as part of its Sun acquisition two years ago. It is a basic emulator which works as a get what you pay for kind of basic functionality solution. Oracle isn’t big on free Open Source products so don’t expect it to get a lot better any time soon.

That leaves the two big players, Parallels and VMware Fusion. Both companies recently released updates to their software and both can now virtualize another instance of Mac OS X (great for developers who need to test their apps on older software or users who need applications that require Rosetta for instance). MacTech did a comprehensive set of Benchmarks and came away with a clear speed winner.

In almost every test, the $79 Parallels 7 beat the $49 VMware Fusion in speed (as you can see from the graphic above).

In the vast majority of overall our tests, Parallels Desktop 7 won. Again, if you count up the general tests (including the top 3D graphics scores), Parallels won 60% of the tests by 10% or more. And, if you include all the tests where Parallels was at least 5% faster, as well as the balance of the 3DMark06 graphics tests, Parallels increased the lead further. In other words, Parallels Desktop 7 beat VMware Fusion 4.0.2 in 74.9% of the general tests we ran, and Parallels was double the speed or more in almost a quarter of the top-level tests.

VMware obviously has a larger install base in the Enterprise with a longer history of virtualization on the PC. However with benchmarks leaning heavily toward Parallels, some Mac-focused businesses may start to tip toward Parallels.

We’ll have an in-depth look at Parallels 7 coming up as well as a contest where we’ll be handing out a few interesting prizes including a MacBook Air. Stay Tuned!



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VMware Fusion 4 hits, touts improved speed and Lion features

VMware Fusion was upgraded to version 4 today with “over 90 new features” and low introductory $49.99 price. That follows the release two weeks ago of main competitor Parallels with many of the same Lion and speed improvements but heftier $79.99 price tag.

VMware touts three major areas of improvement:

  1. Bring the Magic of OS X Lion to Your Windows Programs. Optimized for OS X Lion including Launchpad, Mission Control, and Spotlight to give the best Windows on Mac experience.
  2. Even More Mac-like. From the installation experience to the redesigned user interface, everything has been refined for the most Mac-like experience when running Windows programs on a Mac.
  3. Better Performance. Faster Graphics. Outstanding Reliability. Turbocharged for today’s multi-core Macs and delivering up to 2.5x faster 3D graphics, VMware Fusion 4 is faster than ever.

Release below:



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