VMware Fusion 6 adds Mavericks, Windows 8.1 support, much more

VMware Fusion 6 adds Mavericks, Windows 8.1 support, much more

VMware on Wednesday announced the release of Fusion 6 and Fusion 6 Professional, new versions of their virtualization software for OS X. The new releases are available for immediate purchase and download from VMware directly from $59.95.

Over 50 new features have been added to the new release, including support for OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1. What's more, you can install Mavericks as a virtual machine too - handy for developers and others who need to test features and functionality on Apple's new operating system without having to commit more hardware to the cause.

Fusion 6 has also been optimized with efficiencies for Haswell-based Macs like Apple's new MacBook Air models, to take advantage of their better battery life. Users can create more powerful virtual machines than before with up to 16 virtual CPUs, 8 TB virtual disks and up to 64 GB of memory, but when Fusion first installs a virtual machine, you'll find easier cues telling you how to optimally configure virtual CPUs and memory. There are also video tutorials showing you how to use the software.

VMware Fusion 6 also gets a new Professional release. The Professional version is aimed at IT departments and other enterprise environments. New features include enhanced restricted virtual machines with more customizable restrictions, expiring virtual machines that can be turned off at specific dates and times - great for contractors, for example, or software developers who want to deliver software as a time-limited "virtual appliance."

Single Virtual Machine Mode locks users up from creating new virtual machines or accessing specific features, and linked clones let you create multiple copies of a virtual machine without having to duplicate the entire contents of the original disk, thus saving hard disk space. And VMware Fusion 6 Professional allows you to use VMware Player 6 Plus to run restricted virtual machines.

VMware Fusion 6 costs $59.99; VMware Fusion 6 Professional costs $129.99. Upgrades are priced at $49.99 and $69.99 respectively, and if you've bought VMware between August 1st and the end of September, you can upgrade to the new release for free.

One other change worthy of note: with this release, VMware is no longer selling a box copy of Fusion. The only way to get it is to buy it directly through VMware's online store.

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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There are 5 comments. Add yours.

thoughthalo says:

Is there any recommendation on VMWare versus Parallel?
In fact, I would request imore.com to do a comparison review.
I use my Mac for work by installing a Windows 7 virtual machine and this would be really helpful for me and other BYOD users in the market.

Nathan Bael says:

Parallels is almost always faster. That being said, VMware will run on a pc , which would allow you to VM osx on a PC to see if you wanted to swap to Mac. I think it violates tos though.

gummycat says:

I use VMWare solely because I can install it on more than one machine without violating the EULA. I believe Parallels is limited to one machine per license. I have had no problems with VMWare at all, but I do not game in a VM. I'm a developer and I use it for doing .Net dev on my Mac as well as setting up other virtual machines to test on.

Solamar says:

If doing any form of gaming, Parallels tends to be more gaming friendly.

Productivity.. you could go with either, but VMWare tends to be more business oriented, and as stated, has a pro version that IT personnel may prefer if you're in a BYOD environment.

One thing that I'm seeing in Parallels 9 though is ability to boot a VM from USB.. Thats REALLY nice for those that like to play with OS's.. VMware does not support this.. or at least, didn't.. Have not checked the version 6 yet.. maybe it does now as well.

The BAD - Parallels removed the FREE remote cloud client that was in Parallels 8, and created a separate product called Parallels Access and that REQUIRES a paid subscription.. That has pissed many, including myself, off.. I'm moving to VMWare because Parallels seems to want to nickel/dime you now.. So not interested in that. They seem to want to go freemium, get you in cheep, then charge you monthly/annually for services .. yuk..

thoughthalo says:

Thanks a lot for the excellent details provided.
One important criterion for consideration for me was battery management. Do you have any idea how do both the tools do with respect to consuming battery. The reason i am asking is that i am presently using a 2012 Macbook Air 11inch as my primary computer for work and it barely has 3-4 hours of battery life. So for me having a virtualization software which is efficient on battery usage is critical.