In addition, the virtualization vendor announced at the VMworld conference in Las Vegas its plans to introduce this year technology that would enable corporate workers to access their desktop environment running remotely in the data center or locally on a desktop or laptop.
Fusion 2.0, which is available at no charge for customers of version 1.x, adds more than 100 features and enhancements to the virtualization software, according to VMware. The latest version goes further than the original in blending Windows into the Mac OS X environment, so it is less noticeable that two separate operating systems are running.
The upgrade launches any Mac file with any Windows application, shares data and folders between the two operating systems, displays Windows applications across multiple monitors, and can custom-map the Mac keyboard to special keystrokes for Windows applications.
Fusion 2 also includes more features for power users, including multiple snapshots, the ability to add up to four virtual CPUs to a virtual machine, and support for Mac OS X Leopard Server as a virtual machine. In a recent interview with InformationWeek, VMware executives said future versions of Fusion would include a higher level of graphics performance. The latest version has a suggested retail price of $80.
VMware also launched at VMworld its vClient Initiative, a road map for delivering technology to build, deploy, and manage virtualized desktops accessible through any device. The first release as part of the initiative was VMware View, a portfolio of products that give users a single view of their applications and data.
The View products encapsulate the operating system, applications, and user data into isolated layers that organizations can change, update, deploy, and manage independently. Components include Client Virtualization, Composer, and Offline Desktop.
The first product provides centralized management of applications and OS images across desktops and laptops, and Composer handles updates and patches across thousands of desktops. Offline Desktop makes it possible for users to access server-hosted desktops offline, but lets IT centrally manage the applications and data through the administration framework.