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Next Version of VMware Workstation Will Handle Windows 10

Expected in December, VMware Workstation 11 will also support Ubuntu, Red Hat and other Linux-based operating systems.

Later this year VMware Inc. will upgrade its key desktop virtualization products; among its most interesting enhancements will be the ability to support the forthcoming Windows 10 Technical Preview.

VMware will release major new upgrades of its VMware Workstation and VMware Player desktop virtualization offerings in December. Both will offer support for the latest software and hardware architectures and cloud services. The new VMware Workstation 11, the company's complete virtual desktop offering and the company's flagship product launched 15 years ago, is widely used by IT administrators, developers and QA teams.

Built with nested virtualization, VMware Workstation can run other hypervisors inside the VM, including Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware's own vSphere and ESXi. In addition to running the new Windows 10 Technical Preview, VMware Workstation 11 will add support for other OSes, including Windows Server 2012 R2, Ubuntu 14.10, RHEL 7, CentOS 7, Fedora 20, Debian 7.6 and more than 200 others, the company said. 

Also new in VMware Workstation 11 is support for the most current 64-bit x86 processors, including Haswell from Intel Corp. (released late last year). VMware claims that based on its own testing, using the new Haswell microprocessor architecture with VMware Workstation 11 will offer up to a 45 percent performance improvement for functions such as encryption and multimedia. It will let IT pros and developers build VMs with up to 16 vCPUs, 8TB virtual disks and up to 64GB of memory. It will also connect to vSphere and the vCloud Air public cloud.

The new VMware Player 7 is for more mainstream users. Because it's targeted at everyday users rather than just IT pros and administrators, it has fewer of the bells and whistles, but it gains support for the current Windows 8.1 OS, as well as offering continued support for Windows XP and Windows 7 in desktop virtual environments. "Our goal is to have zero-base support," said William Myrhang, senior product marketing manager at VMware.

VMware Player 7 adds support for the latest crop of PCs and tablets and will be able to run restricted VMs, which, as the name implies, are secure clients that are encrypted, password-restricted and can shut off USB access. VMware said the restricted VMs, which can be built with VMware Workstation 11 or VMware Fusion 7 Pro, run in isolation between host and guest OSes and can have time limits built in.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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