When we first released VMware Fusion in 2007, we were really excited to design a physical box that would make it to retail shelves and on customer bookshelves around the world.
Since then, we've seen a lot of changes in the software industry:
The decline of Macs with optical drives. Most Macs don't ship with an optical drive anymore. It started with the Macbook Air and we were one of the only software makers to include our software on a USB key and a DVD in every box of Fusion 4. We continued this with Fusion 5 but optical drives in Macs have become even more scarce.
The growth of Internet users and broadband access. Internet access and bandwidth has become ubiquitous. Downloading 500MB software ceased to be an ordeal and actually became convenient and that alone has helped the proliferation of software distribution online tremendously.
The VMware online store. In August, we introduced a major redesign and upgrade to our VMware online store, providing customers an improved navigation and simplified checkout to make buying VMware Fusion easier than before.
You. More importantly, over 75% of our customers were buying Fusion boxes in 2008. While our sales and our user-base continued to grow strongly over the years, the demand for boxes decreased with each new release of VMware Fusion. This year, more than 94% of our customers bought VMware Fusion 5 in electronic format.
We get it. Buying software as a download is a lot easier, uses fewer resources, and eliminates a trip to the store. We like the download-only model for the same reasons you do. We also like it because you can start using - and loving - Fusion a lot faster and you're guaranteed to get the latest version when you buy it as a download.
So, following our customers’ lead, we’ve decided to stop making Fusion 5 boxes and sell future versions of Fusion only as an electronic download. This change is coming very soon, along with other exciting news, stay tuned!
The VMware Fusion team.