The main focus of this new release appears to be around the support for new operating system features in both Windows 10 and Apple OS X Mac El Capitan. The press release claims that this release will deliver over 60 new features across the VMware Fusion family
Among the support for voice control and new browsers there are more important things to many users. Performance of the graphics inside a VM has been something that VMware has been criticised for in the past. It is now claiming that this is fixed, or at least substantially improved with this latest release. There is also improved support for cloud to make it easy to do backups of virtual machines which will appeal to developers and power users.
The four key enhancements that the press release lists for VMware Fusion 8 are:
- Built for Microsoft Windows 10 – Ability to use Cortana and the new Edge web browser. Will upgrade all existing virtual machines.
- Ready for Apple OS X El Capitan – Runs on the public beta today and will also allow users to install El Capitan in a virtual machine to test its new features without impacting the underlying host machine.
- Enhanced Graphics Engine – Support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3 to deliver up to 65 percent faster graphics over the previous version. Will provide significant performance improvements for 3D applications.
- Ready for the Latest Macs – Supports the iMac Retina 5K and Retina Macs 4K displays. More battery friendly for laptops especially when supporting different graphics modes
There are also key feature for VMware Fusion 8 Pro:
- From the Mac to the Cloud – Native integration with VMware vCloud Air. Users can securely back up local virtual machines to the cloud, or build websites and apps locally before pushing them to the cloud for production.
- VMware vCloud Air Incentive Program – VMware Fusion 8 Pro customers are eligible to receive $600 in vCloud Air service credit to use for up to 6 months — twice the standard VMware vCloud Air sign-up offer.
- VMware Ecosystem Integration – Improved integration with VMware vSphere, VMware ESXi or VMware Workstation servers.
- Built for Developers – Support for Chef, Hashicorp Vagrant or Docker Machine to automate virtual machine and container deployment. Developers can also build universal applications for Windows 10 devices without ever leaving the Mac.
- Complex Virtual Networking – Updated networking controls allow users to model cloud architecture on the Mac to validate design before implementation.
VMware is also making it easy for Fusion customers to upgrade to VMware Horizon FLEX in order to get centralised management of their VMs. For customers wanting to deploy secure VMs to users in order to support BYOD, this gives them another route to achieve that
VMware has also announced the pricing for the two products. Customers who have recently bought Fusion 7 or Fusion 7 Pro can get a free upgrade. Customers with Fusion 6 or 7 will be able to upgrade to Fusion 8 for $49.99 and Fusion 8 Pro for $119.99. At present there is no UK equivalent pricing available.
While these are just a fraction of the full set of new features, VMware has done a lot to address concerns, particularly over the graphics performance of its VMs. Adding direct support to vCloud Air is a smart move that will appeal to developers in particular. For business users it means that operations teams can deploy a backup strategy that saves their VMs to the cloud without requiring user intervention