VMware is looking to entice Apple enthusiasts with a new beta release of its “Fusion” virtualization software for Macintosh desktops and laptops.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company announced on March 2 that Beta 2 of its free virtualization software for Macs can now be downloaded from its Web site. VMware launched the original beta on Dec. 21.
The announcement by VMware comes a few days after Parallels, a rival virtualization company, unveiled the full public version of its Desktop for Mac software.
VMwares virtualization software, which works with Intel-based Macs, uses a “Cocoa-native” user interface that allows either Microsoft Windows or other x86 operating systems to run side-by-side with the Mac OS X.
Cocoa is Apples application programming technology for the Mac OS X.
In the latest beta version of Fusion, VMware has included experimental three-dimensional graphics that will allow users to play some DirectX 8.1 games on a virtual Windows XP machine.
Beta 2 also supports Microsofts Windows Vista operating system and offers “experimental” support for Apples new operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, called Leopard, which will be released later in 2007.
Fusion also comes with a new feature called “Rollback,” which allows users to take a snapshot of their virtual machine configuration and then allows them to return to that configuration at any time.
In addition, VMware is also offering support for Apples AirPort wireless network. The software will also support up to 10 virtual network interfaces.
The full public version of Fusion should be released later in 2007, the company said in a statement.