VMware Ships Update to Desktop Virtualization Client

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-05-27

VMware on May 26 started shipping an updated new point release of its desktop virtualization client for software developers that is designed to smooth the way to Microsoft Windows 7 deployments.

Workstation 7.1 has been upgraded with about a dozen new features, including faster 3D graphics rendering performance, support for more scalable virtual machines and tighter Windows 7 integration, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization software maker said.

Enterprise Strategy Group reported in January 2010 that 75 percent of enterprises refreshing their client/server desktops in the next 24 months will migrate to Windows 7. The analysis firm also projected that of those looking to extend existing hardware, 62 percent are likely to upgrade their existing operating systems to Windows 7.

Key enhancements in Workstation 7.1, according to VMware, include about twice the graphics rendering speed for DirectX 9.0 and hardware acceleration for OpenGL 2.1 in Windows 7 and Windows Vista virtual machines, resulting in smoother video playback; faster performance for Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processor family for faster virtual machine encryption/decryption; support for more powerful virtual machines with eight virtual processors and 2TB virtual disks; and the ability to import and export Open Virtualization Format-packaged virtual machines and upload directly to VMware vSphere.

In addition, the package enables developers to launch virtualized applications directly from the Windows 7 taskbar, which is a considerable convenience. Workstation 7.1 virtual machines are also supported by Autodesk for use with AutoCAD 2011.

Workstation 7.1 supports more than 600 operating systems and adds support for the latest Linux flavors, including Ubuntu 8.04.4, Ubuntu 10.04, OpenSUSE 11.2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, Fedora 12, Debian 5.0.4 and Mandriva 2009.1.

Workstation 7.1 is now available for download here for $189. Existing VMware Workstation 7 customers can download a free update. Upgrades from VMware Workstation 5.x or 6.x are available for $99.

Rocket Fuel