VMWare this week announced the availability of Fusion 8, the latest release of its Mac-based virtualization solution. Like last week’s release of Parallels 11 Desktop, Fusion 8 natively supports both Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan.
“VMware Fusion enables Mac users to take full advantage of all the innovative features and capabilities available in Windows 10 such as Cortana or the new Edge browser,” VMWare director Nicolas Rochard said in a prepared statement. “With Apple OS X El Capitan readiness and up to 65 percent faster graphics … the value delivered by VMware is greater than ever before.”
As noted in previous Windows 10 + Mac articles, I chose Parallels Desktop over VMWare Fusion a few versions back, but both of these products are excellent and offer similar features, including deep integration between the host OS X environment and Windows guests. According to VMWare, the differentiators in Fusion 8 include:
Windows 10 compatibility. Fusion 8 lets Mac users take advantage of key Windows 10 features like Cortana and Microsoft Edge.
OS X El Capitan compatibility. Fusion 8 fully supports the coming version of OS X, called El Capitan.
Enhanced graphics. Like Parallels, VMWare is talking up huge performance gains in this release, particularly with graphics. “With added support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3, VMware Fusion 8 can deliver up to 65 percent faster graphics over the previous version,” the firm claims.
Fully supports modern Mac hardware. Fusion 8 has been customized to support modern Mac hardware, including iMac Retina 5K screens, 4K external displays, and more. And like Parallels, VMWare says that this release is more battery friendly.
Fusion 8 Pro. Like Parallels, VMWare is pushing a higher-priced offering with this release as well: Fusion 8 Pro is aimed at “technical professionals, advanced users, developers, QA and IT admins” and offers native integration with VMWare vCloud Air for cloud-based VM backups, integration with VMware vSphere, VMware ESXi or VMware Workstation servers, support for third party VM and container deployment solutions, and updated networking controls.
VMWare Fusion 8 is available (in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Japanese) for $80, though existing customers of Fusion 6 or 7 can upgrade for just $50. VMWare Fusion 8 Pro is likewise available now for $200. And VMWare is offering existing Parallels Desktop customers 40 percent off if they migrate to Fusion 8 or Fusion 8 Pro. You can also snag a free trial version if you just want to check it out.