I realized something a few days ago. I have been working for almost 30 years. I suddenly feel really, really, really old. HA! Most of that time has been spent working in IT. I do what I love. And over the years I have learned and used a ton of different useful software. One of the pieces of software that we used is VMWare Fusion. When they asked me to write a post sharing my thoughts on the product, I was happy to since it is a product that I have used and believe in.
Although, VMWare is actually the company it is a bit of an eponym to me. When I think about Mac virtualization or running Windows on a Mac, I instantly think… VMWare.
What is VMWare Fusion?
Both VMWare Fusion 11 and VMWare Fusion 11 Pro allow Mac users to run Windows and hundreds or other operating systems… all side by side, without rebooting. This is extremely useful for users that have a need to test programs in both. This is also useful for those that may work for a company that forces you to use a program that works on an OS that is not your preferred platform of choice. Trust me…. it happens. 🙂 Not all companies are blessed to be able to update their software as quickly as technology changes. In some cases, you may need to run an older version of Windows to use accounting or HR software.
This is also a great way to learn a new operating system. In the past, I have used VMWare Fusion to simultaneously run Mac OS, Linux, and Windows on the same machine to be able to keep up with the changes in all.
The newest version adds the following…
What's New in VMWare Fusion 11?
- New OS and Mac Support
- Improved User Interface
- New DirectX 10.1 Graphics Support
- Increased Performance and Bugfixes
- New and Improved Developer Features
- All New Mac Menu Bar Control
- Improved Remote vSphere View – Pro Only
- Improved API
The clear advantage to running VMWare instead of Apple's default Bootcamp is that you can run Windows… well… in a window! This allows you to keep doing whatever you need to do in Mac OS, and click over to Windows and run programs there as well.
Also, Fusion 11 offers an improved user interface which even includes customizable Touch Bar support for the newer MacBooks. This provides a quick way to launch Windows apps and VMs. Basically, everything you can do on a full Windows machine, you can do in a VM including browse files, install printers, and use other peripherals.
Want to give it a try? You can download a free trial and give it a go for 30 days. You have a choice of either VMWare Fusion 11 or VMWare Fusion 11 Professional. Check out the website for full features and differences in each. Since I'm an IT Pro I chose Fusion 11 Professional.
What is an ISO?
I had to prep to install by grabbing ISOs of each OS that I wanted to install. In order to install an OS, you have to have a disc or image (ISO) of the OS. Not familiar with what an ISO is? An ISO is a compressed disk image of software. It acts as a CD or DVD on your computer, without the need for an optical drive. You can sometimes download an ISO of an operating system right from the manufacturer's website. Or you can create an ISO from a CD or DVD which can then be saved and used on various computers, for virtual environments, or to deploy software to remote computers.
VMWare Fusion 11 Installation
I took this opportunity to dive into something that I had not touched in a long time. After downloading and installing the VMWare Fusion 11 Pro Trial, I downloaded the ISO for Ubuntu Linux. I also grabbed a Windows 10 ISO from our support server. I installed both with no problems at all. One of the options that I was presented with and that I find very useful is the ability to see my Mac folders (Desktop, Documents, etc.) in the virtual OS. This is extremely useful for sharing documents with both. Installation could not be easier.
I honestly should have done this long ago. Now, when I need to test a piece of software for Windows on my iMac, I can do it without booting up a 2nd computer, or restarting my iMac. This is awesome since after my recent office construction I don't have quite as much room to spread out with computers all around me. I have Mac OS, Windows, and Linux side by side all on one machine.
Above, you can see my iMac running with Ubuntu in the left window, and Windows 10 in the right window, while I still do other things on my Mac. How cool is that?
If you work in IT, or you have a reason to run more than one operating system on your Mac, VMWare Fusion 11 can make this task extremely easy for you. Head on over to the VMWare website and download a free trial. The full version of VMWare Fusion 11 Pro can be purchased for $159.99. VMWare Fusion 11 can be purchased for $79.99.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by VMWare. All opinions are my own.