In this week’s tip we will walk through some of the new features in VMware Fusion 4.1
Smart Full Screen
New to VMware Fusion Fusion 4.1 is the all new Smart Full Screen.
To enable smart full screen simply click the full screen button in the Fusion menu bar.
Once you select full screen, VMware Fusion will automatically adjust to your current display settings and give you the full screen mode that makes the most sense.
If you are using a single display (i.e. a Mac Book Pro and not connected to a display) VMware Fusion will enable the Lion method for full screen, allocating a space for your Virtual Machine.
If you are currently using multiple displays on your Mac when you enable full screen, VMware Fusion will Automatically adjust full screen to allow you to take advantage of both displays.
Also new to VMware Fusion 4.1 is increased control from inside Full Screen. Now dragging your mouse to the top of the screen allows you to access the VMware Fusion toolbar and OS X application menu. You’ll notice there is a small delay from when you move the mouse to the top of the screen, to when you see the menu drop down. This is designed to make it easier to access the OS X Application Menu when running versions of OS X as a virtual machine.
Another cool new feature of VMware Fusion 4.1 is the Full Screen Minibar. This feature gives you quick access to commonly used functions of the Virtual Machine, such as, Suspend, Settings Menu, and Toggling between view modes.
To enable the mini bar go to View > Full Screen Minibar > Always Show/Automatically Hide and Show.
Auto Launch your Virtual Machine
Lastly, a popular new feature of VMware Fusion 4.1 is the ability to Automatically Power on a Virtual Machine. Simply launch VMware Fusion 4.1 and your favorite Virtual Machine instantly launches with it. To assign this setting to Virtual Machine go to Settings > General > and select “start automatically when VMware Fusion Launches.”
VMware Fusion 4.1.1 is now available for download or via “Check for Updates” within the application. Customers running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Leopard in a virtual machine should consult this knowledge base article before upgrading.
VMware Fusion 4.1 was released late last week and includes many great improvements. One change was the introduction of a new license verification step for users to verify they are in compliance with the OS licensing terms.
When the license verification step was added in VMware Fusion 4.1 the server edition check was omitted. We are preparing an update.
Running Mac OS X client in a virtual machine continues to require Lion (purchased from the Mac App Store or a USB thumb drive.) Users should always ensure they remain in compliance with any applicable software license agreements.
It’s been two months since we released VMware Fusion 4, and we have been thrilled with the response from our customers and the VMware Fusion community. We have also been listening carefully to how we can improve.
To that end, we’ve been working hard and are pleased to announce the release of VMware Fusion 4.1, available today as a free update for all VMware Fusion 4 customers.
Here in the US we’re about to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. VMware Fusion 4.1 is our thanks to you, our users.
Here’s a short summary of the key features and improvements in VMware Fusion 4.1
Smart Full Screen
The number one feature request we saw from VMware Fusion 4 users was for native Lion full screen mode. But we knew we had to get it right; to work out all the corners cases and make sure it met all the same requirements as the old full screen and worked seamlessly with Mac OS X Lion.
Here is how full screen works with VMware Fusion 4.1
The standard Lion full screen button is now used in virtual machine windows.
Like other full screen Lion applications, a VMware Fusion virtual machine will move to a new full screen space when using a single display.
If you are using multiple displays, VMware Fusion will intelligently decide whether to use a full screen space or not. If the virtual machine is configured to use all displays in full screen, it will move to a full screen space. If not, full screen will take the whole display in the current space. This allows working in Mac applications on one display while the virtual machine can make full use of the other.
The full menu bar is now accessible from full screen mode in both Snow Leopard and Lion. We added a short delay in showing the menu which allows users to access the top of the virtual machine screen, particularly useful when running Mac OS X Lion or Ubuntu in a virtual machine.
When working with multiple displays some users might prefer the optional full screen minibar. It provides quick access to common actions without leaving full screen mode. It takes minimal space on the screen and can even auto-hide.
The Return of automatically powering on favorite virtual machines
We removed this feature in VMware Fusion 4 and you really wanted it back. Virtual machines can now be powered on automatically when VMware Fusion starts. This can be set for each virtual machine under Settings > General.
Faster than ever!
We’ve worked top to bottom to make VMware Fusion even faster. A few of the improvements are:
Greatly improved graphics performance for Internet Explorer 9 with hardware accelerated graphics are up to 6x faster than VMware Fusion 4.
Improved rendering correctness in Solidworks 2012.
Improved graphics performance when using Mac OS X 10.7.2.
Improved animations for full screen mode, unity mode, library and snapshots.
Improved startup time with Windows 7 virtual machines.
OS X Lion as a guest just got better.
Improved Mac OS X Lion virtual machine support including smoother mouse movement and support for FileVault 2 when using Mac OS X 10.7.2 and later.
See the release notes for more details on other fixes:
Today Macworld released their higly anticipated review of VMware Fusion 4. We are extremly excited about the great feedback in the article. So we thought we would use take a minute to share some key points.
Below are some highlights of the review
"Generally, using Windows 7 in Fusion 4 was marked by an absolute lack of drama. Applications simply ran—and ran well. I had no crashes, and the occasional Windows update installed without trouble. I played some high definition video clips in Windows Media Player, and they played back with clear video and stutter-free audio. In short, Windows 7 and Fusion 4 work very well together."
Other operating systems
“VMware also has a collection of nearly 2,000 downloadable virtual appliances (ready-to-run configurations of operating systems and/or applications), many of which are free of charge. After downloading, you can be up and running with these systems with a couple of mouse clicks.”
“This feature is incredibly useful; using it, you can create unique virtual machines within the same virtual operating system. You could, for instance, create an OS X virtual machine running OS X 10.7, save a snapshot, then install the OS X 10.7.1 update, and save that snapshot. You can then save additional snapshots off either the 10.7 or 10.7.1 "branches," keeping two distinct installations going.”
Macworld's buying advice
“Fusion 4 is a nice upgrade from Fusion 3; it's fast and stable, the interface is very Mac-like, and its drag-and-drop installation is about as easy as it gets. The redesigned virtual machine settings and library windows are great improvements over their predecessors...current Fusion 3 users should upgrade to Fusion 4 to take advantage of its new features and capabilities. If you're new to the virtualization market, or contemplating switching from another program, Fusion 4 works great for typical Windows office usage, and is a great solution if you're wanting to experiment with other operating systems.”
Over the past year we have spent a great deal of time traveling around the country training customers and sales people on all the features of VMware Fusion 4. Without question the feature that always impressed people the most was Unity, and now with VMware Fusion 4, unity has been even further refined. With that said, let’s talk about how to enable and utilize Unity in VMware Fusion 4.
Unity Mode is a feature in VMware Fusion 4 that allows users to isolate individual Windows Applications and interact with them as though they were Mac Applications. This is perfect for those times that you want to run Windows programs side by side with Mac Apps. It’s also a great feature for those that want to have access to Windows Applications without having to interact with Windows.
You can enable unity in a few different ways.
To enable unity mode while you are in Single Window click the unity button.
To enable unity from from Full Screen, select unity from the Full Screen Menu Bar
Once you enable Unity you will see Windows fade away, and you are left with just your Windows applications, from here you can interact with your Windows Programs in exactly the same way you do your Mac apps.
You can use command tab to move between applications
Even save you Windows programs to the dock for instant access.
Once inside unity you can quickly access and launch additional Windows programs by clicking the Application Menu from the OS X Menu bar. Simply type in the Windows program you are looking for and double click to launch.
New to VMware Fusion 4 is the ability to utilize Mission Control with Unity. Simply swipe up on the track pad with three fingers to go into Mission Control.
If you would like additional information on how to best utilize Unity in VMware Fusion 4 check out the “Running Windows Programs Without Seeing Windows” video at the VMware Fusion Learning Center.
We are extremely excited and proud to have received the Editors Choice awards by both MacWorld UK and PC Magazine for VMware Fusion 4. It’s great to see that all the work our developers have put in this release is being recognized.
We are also very excited by the recent Infoworld review:
We are aware of the recent benchmark analysis published by MacTech and you can rest assured that our engineers are looking closely at any test results where VMware Fusion is not as great as we would like it to be.
What we feel is important to keep in mind, as other journalists and reviewers have noted, is that virtualization benchmarks do not accurately represent real-world performance.
We believe there are a lot of criteria to consider when choosing the best virtualization solution to run Windows on a Mac. Reliability, stability, user interface, features, technical support and value are all important when choosing a virtualization solution that meets your needs.
Customer reviews are another great way to find out what other users are saying about VMware Fusion 4. Click the image below to see our reviews on Amazon:
Ultimately, nothing beats first-hand experience and we encourage you to go ahead and try VMware Fusion 4 today for yourself.