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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 31 August 2015

VMware Fusion 8.0 and Fusion 8.0 Pro -- Adding over 50 new features as well as compatibility with OS X 10.11 El Capitan and Windows 10, VMware has updated its popular virtualization package VMware Fusion to version 8.0, with standard and Pro editions. VMware Fusion 8 enables you to take advantage of Cortana (Microsoft’s speech-enabled virtual assistant) in Windows 10, adds support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3 to deliver up to 65 percent faster graphics, and improves power efficiency when running VMware on battery power. VMware connects its VMware vCloud Air cloud computing platform to Fusion 8 Pro, enabling users to securely back up local virtual machines to the cloud or recreate complex cloud architectures to demonstrate or validate design before implementation. Fusion 8 Pro users will receive $600 in vCloud Air service credit to use for up to 6 months. Ars Technica discovered a bug when testing VMware Fusion 8, which causes the Windows Start screen to be unavailable when running Windows 10 in Unity mode, and VMware has stated this bug will be corrected in a maintenance release.

VMware continues its upward pricing trajectory, with the standard edition moving to $79.99 (up $10 from last year’s VMware Fusion 7.0) and VMware Fusion Professional moving to $199.99 (up from $149.99). You can upgrade from version 6.0 and later for either $49.99 (standard edition) or $89.99 (Pro edition). If you purchased version 7 of either edition between 29 July 2015 and 25 August 2015, you are eligible for a free electronic upgrade. ($79.99/199.99 new, $49.99/$89.99 upgrade, 362 MB, release notes)

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PopChar X 7.2 -- Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.2 with improved support for OS X 10.11 El Capitan and added support for Unicode 8.0, which introduces 7,716 new characters, including letters to support African languages, lowercase Cherokee symbols, new emoji symbols, and more. The character discovery utility works around a problem on El Capitan that resulted in empty font tables, includes searchable descriptions and Mandarin pronunciations of Chinese characters, speeds up loading of character names, improves handling of font families with inaccessible font members (which also solves a problem with fallback fonts on El Capitan), and produces fewer console log messages when searching for shapes. (€29.99 new with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 3.8 MB, release notes, 10.6+)

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