VMWare Fusion 2 Beta 1

I mentioned that I bought VMWare Fusion at the end of December. Most of the time, I just use it so I can run Microsoft Money, but it’s also handy for checking my website layouts in the evil abomination known as Internet Explorer 6. I’ve even successfully used it to connect to the VPN at work, though I generally use the little laptop for that.

It’s a generally well-behaved product, but does have a few mildly irritating features, the main one being that when I start the application, I have to pick which of my one virtual machines I want to use. Hello? There’s only one, surely you could just start it? And the “Unity” integration thingy doesn’t always play quite as nicely as it should, especially if a window is maximised, where it tries to hide behind the Mac OS X Dock. But overall, it’s good stuff.

But being VMWare, they’re not just leaving it alone, and they’ve just announced a beta release of version 2. I haven’t installed it yet, but it does sound very promising. New features include being able to set a default virtual machine to start, easier connections to printers and assorted USB devices, and what sound like big improvements to Unity. The big show-off feature isn’t one that I need right now, but if when I get a fancier Mac with multiple screen support, I’ll love it. Yes, it has full automagic support for up to ten displays. Which is a lot more than I’m likely to ever need.

More details and some demo videos are available from VMWare.

I’ve left the best feature till last. For all this rather tasty new and improved functionality, you might expect to have to pay a moderate upgrade charge when it’s released. But they’ve announced that it will be a free upgrade for all registered users. Now that’s nice. :bouncy: