After installing Workstation 6.5, I was up and running in a matter of minutes. Workstation 6.5 can be installed on a wide range of Windows and Linux OSes, both 32- and 64-bit versions. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with VM creation will be up and running in a matter of minutes.
The Easy Install feature was surprisingly, well, easy to use. After starting the VM creation process, I was asked to either specify an ISO or insert the installation disk in the system. Workstation 6.5 then identified the operating system and asked me to supply license information and user name to facilitate a more automated installation. The Easy Install process also automatically runs the VMware Tools installation after the initial guest OS installation. Both of these features worked like a champ in helping me get my Windows guest systems set up. Easy Install also assisted me during a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 installation.
Unity is a helpful feature that allows applications running in a VM to be used in a more interactive way on the host desktop. After the guest and applications were installed, I enabled the Unity mode. This allowed me, for example, to run Microsoft Word in one VM and PowerPoint in another, and drag and drop information from one to the other without cumbersome switching between VMs. Sun's VirtualBox has a similar feature, and this is a big advance in general for this class of virtualization tools.
eWEEK Labs Technical Director Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.