Hot on the heels of last week’s release of Parallels 7 comes VMware Fusion 4.0, a major upgrade to the popular virtualization program that lets Mac users run Windows, Linux, and other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X. Fusion 4 includes more than 90 new features; as in Parallels 7, some of the biggest changes include full support for Lion capabilities such as Mission Control, full-screen mode (even for individual Windows applications), and gestures; you can also run Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and Lion Server as guest operating systems, and you can choose which Windows apps you want to appear in Launchpad, the Applications folder, and Spotlight. When running in single-window mode, Fusion 4 makes better use of screen real estate, which is helpful for Macs (such as the MacBook Air) with small displays. A variety of other changes make both Fusion itself and Windows apps running in a virtual machine more Mac-like and better integrated into Mac OS X. Fusion 4 now works better with Time Machine, supports Remote Disc, and offers virtual Bluetooth support. Fusion is now a self-contained, 64-bit Cocoa application, so you can install or uninstall it by drag-and-drop and run it from any location; in addition, it uses no system resources at all when not running. The program features significantly improved performance, too, especially in 2D and 3D graphics. According to VMware’s benchmark testing, overall performance is neck-and-neck with Parallels 7 — Fusion’s advantage averages about 2 to 4 percent, depending on the hardware and the test (although it does fall slightly behind Parallels in certain tests). Although not currently sold through the Mac App Store, Fusion 4 now uses a similar license model; except in business and educational settings, a single license is now valid for all the Macs a user owns or controls. Promotional pricing — the same price for upgrades and new purchases — is $49.99 through the end of the year. ($49.99 new or upgrade, 399 MB)
Springy Dock Tricks
If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.
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Seems like VMWare should be $30 for an upgrade.
If I remember correctly a cheaper cross grade got me to Fusion.
Due to Apple not changing the EULA for SL this seem the most straightforward way to run legacy software.
Does anyone know if Fusion 4.0 allows you to install the regular versions of OSX? If so, and the performance is the same as Parallels, I am in. $50 is basically what parallels wants to charge me for upgrading from 6 to 7. And as far as I can tell, 7 just adds the ability to have windows act more like Lion... not sure why I would want that, heck I'd love if Lion acted more like Snow Leopard!
BTW, I found an amazing new feature in PD7 helping with battery savings - on new MBPs with 2 video adapters it automatically switches to integrated graphics adapters (when cable unplugged) and my mac runs on battery for about 2 hours longer!
Edited: just tried once again - it took me 46.3 seconds to resume 1GB W7 Fusion4 VM on newest MBP i7 after host reboot. The same operation takes about 16 seconds in PD7. Hot suspends/resumes are also faster in PD7, though not that dramatically impressive.
Heh, Parallels won in IE9 HTML5 benchmarks 4-6x times!...
OK, the on-demand download should be fixed in a few days: