VMware Workstation 10 released Sept. 4 2013, but you might be fine
with the free VMware Player 6 Plus
Today marks the release of a new revision of VMware Workstation. This family of products is now in its 13th year, and I have quite the library of VMs built up over that period of time. Most of my VMs have been moved to my dedicated-for-virtualization vZilla Core i7 that’s running ESXi 5.5 24×7, but there are still occasions where having VMware Workstation and/or the Player can be very handy. And migration between these virtualization platforms has become pretty seamless. Here’s the detailed VMware blog post/announcement of this new Workstation release, with all the technical goodies explained:
New Features in VMware Workstation 10.0
I am having a difficult time getting overly excited about this latest version of VMware workstation, especially since it is a paid release and I do not see many changes that I care about or plan to use.
Key New Features: Windows 8.1, tablet sensors, and expiring VMs (do you care?)
Windows 8.1 Features
Seeing that I have yet to even use Windows 8, I do not care about Windows 8.1 support from VMware Workstation either. But, I will admit, I find it more likely I will perhaps actually take time to evaluate Microsoft Windows 8.1 final — as soon as Microsoft releases it and makes the trial download available — but that alone gives me little reason to consider paying for Workstation version 10.0.
I personally hope to stretch as many years out of Windows 7 (a very solid product) as possible until I can migrate everything to Linux. Had Microsoft not turned Windows into what looks like some goofy smart-phone UI (that I am not to force upon desktop users and/or that I have to learn a whole new application-development and programming model for), perhaps I would think differently about this.
But, if you use Windows 8.1, the features of interest in this Workstation 10.0 release are bound to be handy for you: Unity mode has been enhanced to seamlessly work with Windows 8.1 UI changes and Workstation 10 can now convert a Windows 8.1 physical PC to a virtual machine. Yay, I would expect that even in a “point release”, but whatever.
Tablet-Sensor Support (in Virtual Machines)
Next, there is the new tablet-sensor (pass-through) to virtual-machines — accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and ambient light sensor data available to VMs. Great! (sarcasm… again, I do not care). Call me old-school: I do not use a tablet, nor a smart-phone or whatever, for my daily applications… I still prefer a desktop with a big monitor for everything from email to spreadsheets to programming and so forth.
I do not currently need to pass tablet touch-sensor-data or gyroscope-data to a virtual machine. But, I can see how tablet-software-developers would like this new tablet-sensor-virtual-machine-pass-through feature for testing their varied “apps” under different operating systems, web browsers, and other configurations.