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VMware Workstation Technology Preview July 2014

The VMware Workstation team is providing public access to the latest VMware Workstation Technology Preview July 2014. This Tech Preview adds new features not included in the prior May 2014 Technology Preview in addition to general stability, application compatibility and usability improvements. The VMware Workstation Technology Preview includes changes to the core virtualization engine and new capabilities we are exploring.

VMware Workstation Tech Preview July 2014

We would appreciate feedback in the following areas:

  • New OS support including the latest versions of Windows, Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL and OpenSUSE
  • VMware Hardware Version 11 including improved CPU support and upgraded USB 3.0 controller
  • Graphics memory configuration per virtual machine
  • Windows 8 Unity mode improvements
  • Create and boot virtual machine with EFI
  • Experimental performance tuning for VM suspend and resume

The VMware Workstation Technology Preview July 2014 is available to download HERE via our VMware Workstation Community. More details including installation instructions can be found on the What’s New page.

As with the prior Technology Preview May 2014, please post all of your feedback in the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2014 community forum. Our Developers, Quality Assurance Engineers, Support Teams, Technical Writers, Product Marketing and Product Managers are all actively involved in the forums to ensure that your suggestions and comments get our attention.

Thank you!

The VMware Workstation Team

15 Year Anniversary Upgrade Promotion

VMware WOrkstation 15 year Anniversary Banner from Landing Page

Celebrate 15 years of VMware Workstation. Upgrade to Workstation 10 and Save 30%.

VMware Workstation was the first product launched in 1999 by VMware. As the first desktop virtualization product to enable users to run multiple operating systems and applications simultaneously, it redefined the way software developers, QA, IT professionals and other technical users thought about computing.

Over 15 years later, Workstation is the winner of more than 50 industry awards and is recognized for its broad operating system support, rich user experience, a comprehensive feature set, and high performance.

VMware Workstation Box History from Landing Page

In honor of 15 great years of VMware Workstation we are celebrating with a special upgrade promotion for Workstation 8 and 9 customers* — and for a limited time Workstation 7 customers. Upgrade to VMware Workstation 10 and get 30% off our regular upgrade price.

Here are some of the leading edge features in Workstation 10:

  • State of the Art Performance – Workstation 10 enables you to create faster, more powerful virtual machines with up to 16 vCPUs, 64GB of memory, 8 TB disks and faster USB connections, a new vSATA controller and twice as many virtual networks.
  • The Latest Operating Systems – Take Windows 8.1 to the next level with enhanced Unity Mode support, SSD pass-through and tablet sensors. Easy Install recognizes Windows 8.1 and new Linux distributions to make it easier than ever to create virtual machines.
  • Expiring Virtual Machines – Create restricted virtual machines that can expire at a specified date and time you set. Restricted VMs are perfect for delivering software evaluations to prospective customers as expiring virtual appliances.
  • Tablet Sensors – VMware Workstation 10 includes the first-ever virtual accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and ambient light sensor to enable applications running in a virtual machine to respond when a user juggles their tablet.

With all these incredible new features, VMware Workstation 10 takes Virtualization to the next level. It’s the ideal solution for your Virtualization needs.

Workstation_Boxshots_213x250_Anniversary-Upgrade_Sales

Click Here to Upgrade and Save 30%!

* Hurry and save 30% off your upgrade today! Offer expires on July 25th at 11:59 PM (PT).

If you would like to see how VMware Workstation 10 compares to VMware Workstation 8 and Workstation 9, Click Here.

VMware Workstation Technology Preview May 2014

The VMware Workstation team is providing public access to the VMware Workstation Technology Preview to gather feedback from users on a wide range of hardware and software configurations. The VMware Workstation Technology Preview includes changes to the core virtualization engine and new capabilities we are exploring.

VMware Workstation Technology Preview May 2014

We would appreciate feedback in the following areas:

  • New OS support including the latest versions of Windows, Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL and OpenSUSE
  • VMware Hardware Version 11 including improved CPU support and upgraded USB 3.0 controller
  • Graphics memory configuration per virtual machine
  • Windows 8 Unity mode improvements
  • Create and boot virtual machine with EFI

The VMware Workstation Technology Preview May 2014 is available to download HERE via our VMware Workstation Community.

We really appreciate your help in testing this software. Please post all of your feedback in the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2014 communities forum.  Our Developers, Quality Assurance Engineers, Support Teams, Technical Writers, Product Marketing and Product Managers are all actively involved in the forums to ensure that your suggestions and comments get our attention.

Thank you!

The VMware Workstation Team

Survived Microsoft XP end of support for now.

Well, it has been exactly one month since Microsoft ended XP support on April 8th, and no XPocalypse yet.

Granted there have been a few recent nasty global security exploits, like Heartbleed and the recent zero day vulnerability in Microsoft IE that caused Microsoft to issue a special XP IE patch even though they stopped supporting XP on April 8th. Actually I was surprised to see the patch pop up on my XP build considering support officially ended.

XP EOL Support and IE Patch for Zero Day

Moving off of Windows XP is not easy for companies that have those critical legacy software applications or special devices still requiring them to stay on Windows XP for a little while longer. Having worked in IT and the computer hardware industry for many years, I understand making the transition from these legacy systems or applications takes extra time and resources, which IT most definitely doesn’t have.

However if you are keeping XP around a little longer for those critical applications or need extra time before you make the move, you can continue running your key Windows XP applications in a virtual environment with VMware Workstation and make the most of your Windows XP investment.

XP VM running Win 8 on Vmware Workstation

Running Windows XP in VMware Workstation as a virtual machine allows you to reduce XP vulnerabilities by isolating and controlling more of your Windows XP environment. Because virtual machines are containerized, you can turn off features like shared folders, drag-and-drop, copy-and-paste, networking, and USB access to reduce Windows XP vulnerabilities. In addition you get forward compatibility, so you can run Windows XP on modern PC hardware.

Click HERE to learn more about virtualizing Windows XP.

Celebrate Earth Day and save on VMware Workstation

Workstation_ProductPage_720x250_EarthDay

Go green—consolidate your PCs into one with VMware Workstation 10

Virtualization is a green choice because the technology allows you to run multiple virtual machines on one physical computer. Reduce hardware and energy costs by consolidating your PCs with VMware Workstation, winner of more than 50 industry awards.

Make a green choice and save up to 20% on VMware Workstation 10:

  • Buy Workstation 10 and save 20% off Regular List Price
  • Upgrade to Workstation 10 and save 20% off Regular List Price

This offer begins on April 22, 2014, at 12:01 am Pacific Time and expires on April 24, 2014, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.

VMware Workstation 10 and Player 6 Updates Now Available

VMware Workstation 10.0.2 Now Available

VMware Workstation 10.0.2 is a maintenance release that is a free update for all VMware Workstation 10.x customers. Read the Release Notes for more details.

VMware Player 6.0.2 Now Available

VMware Player 6.02 is a maintenance release that is a free update for all VMware Player 6.x customers. Read the Release Notes for more details.

How to get the updates

VMware Workstation 10 will prompt you to download the update the next time you run it. You can manually check for the update from the “Help” -> “Software Updates” menu item. Alternatively, you can download it from here.

VMware Player 6 will prompt you to download the update the next time you run it. You can manually check for the update from the “Player” -> “Help” -> “Software Updates” menu item. Alternatively, you can download it from here.

PLEASE NOTE: VMware Workstation 10 includes a copy of VMware Player 6 for commercial use.  If you have VMware Workstation 10 you do not need to download VMware Player 6 separately since it is included in the VMware Workstation 10 download.

Many thanks to the Workstation 10 and Player 6 customers reporting these issues to Workstation Support and discussing them with the VMware Workstation Community.

Windows XP EOL and the Road Ahead

XP-end-banner-landing

Well it is finally here, after 12 years Windows XP support officially ends today, April 8th, 2014.

I spent many great years using Windows XP, but as an ‘early adopter,’ I always personally upgraded to the latest Windows release on new hardware when it becomes available. However, in my professional life prior to VMware, I used Windows XP until late 2012 because it was still the corporate standard on laptops and desktops.

The main reason why I used Windows XP for work, even as recently as 2012, was that my employer was running a handful of Windows XP business-critical applications that could not be moved to a newer Windows OS. When it came time for a new computer I always had a few choice words to say when I received the latest laptop hardware at work, to only boot up to Windows XP because of those few critical legacy applications we still had to run.

My experience is pretty typical, even today, with Windows XP support ending. There are many businesses running critical business application on Windows XP that need more time before they can transition to a new Windows platform.

If you’re not ready to move from Windows XP or need more time before you make the move, you can continue running your critical Windows XP applications in a virtual environment.

Here is why virtualization with VMware Workstation 10 is a great option to consider as part of your Windows XP migration plan:

  • Get forward compatibility, so you can run Windows XP on modern hardware and software, including the latest Ultrabooks, Intel-based tablets, or the latest desktop workstation.
  • Isolating your Windows XP environment in a virtual machine will help reduce its vulnerability to security risks.
  • If your virtual machine ever becomes corrupted, you can use the Snapshot feature to roll back to a safe state.
  • Leverage Unity mode to run legacy Windows XP applications on a Windows PC while simultaneously running the latest operating systems like Windows 8.1.

Moving Windows XP to your new Windows or Linux machine is fast and easy with Workstation 10 built-in Migration Assistant Wizard, which takes you through the process step-by-step to create a virtual machine from a physical machine running Windows XP.

Click HERE to learn more about virtualizing Windows XP.

VMware Workstation 10 plans to Release the Retro Computer Support Pack

Commodore_2001_Series-IMG_0448b

In celebration of the great home computers of the 1970s and 1980s the VMware Workstation team is providing support for the Apple II, Atari 400/800, Commodore PET, Commodore VIC 20, Commodore 64, Radio Shack TRS-80, and the Sinclair Z80 home computers within a VMware virtual machine. Imagine showing your friends and family the classic computers, operating systems, and applications of the past all while running on today’s modern hardware.

After extensive late night R&D effort, a proprietary 8-bit microprocessor hypervisor was created to run inside our existing x86 64-bit hypervisor to give you the double hypervisor – It’s like a double rainbow but better. In addition to the retro computer support the development team created the data cassette tape drive to MP3 converter so you can listen to your favorite games still on cassette as they are loading into the virtual machine. For the well-off consumer crowd the team developed a 5.25″ floppy disk drive and acoustic coupled modem to USB interface.

The retro computer support pack is coming to VM near you in the future. Once the retro  support pack is released the Workstation team plans to work on the HAL 9000 and Skynet AI support pack.

Happy April 1st ; )

What’s Cool about the VMware KVM Utility.

VMware Workstation 10 comes with a handy utility which allows you to switch between active VMs (virtual machines) using a configurable hot key just like a KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch. The benefit of using the VMware KVM utility is the VMs can be run in full-screen without launching the Workstation 10 interface (no tool bar) and manage their power state via CLI (command line interface). Another additional benefit from an IT perspective is running a virtual machine for the user when Windows is launched and the user can  seamlessly switch between the operating systems by using the defined hotkey.

Note: The VMware KVM mode is only available for Windows version of Workstation 10.x.

Below is a brief example with screen shots and short video on how I setup and used VMware KVM mode with desktop shortcuts on my Win 8.1 computer. *** Not all steps are included in this blog post and the location of your files might be different so please reference Knowledge Base article KB2057914 and VMware KVM Guide (pdf) for detailed information on using the VMware KVM utility.

The first step in configuring VMware KVM mode is setting the hotkeys and preferences. Open up a command prompt and change to the directory where Workstation is installed. Launch the VMware KVM executable with the “–preferences”  after the command.

VMware KVM Command Prompt

Upon launching “vmware-kvm.exe –preferences” command you will see a small GUI window that allows you to change the default hot keys in addition to other features for launching and exiting the virtual machine.

VMware KVM Preferences

If you use multiple monitors like I am you can change the physical monitor on which the selected virtual machine runs in full screen mode as shown below. Click OK to exit the utility and save you KVM preferences.

VMware KVM Pref Multi Mon

The second step is to execute the vmware-kvm.exe command with a pointer to the selected VM to run Workstation in KVM mode. You will run the command: “vmware-kvm.exe [OPTIONS] virtual-machine-vmx-file.vmxwhere: “virtual-machine-vmx-file.vmx” is the path to the .vmx file of the virtual machine. To run multiple VMs and switch between them with the configured hot key the vmware-kvm.exe command must be issued once for each VM you want to start or stop in KVM mode.

In the next few screen shots I created a desktop shortcut for the vmware-kvm.exe and pointed it to the location of my VM I want assigned to the desktop shortcut. The location of you vmware-kvm.exe and VMs may be different depending if you changed the default installation locations when installing VMware Workstation 10. For additional assistance in locating your VMs please reference KB Article KB1003880 besides the guides mentioned above.

Create a desktop shortcut for the vmware-kvm.exe executable from within File Explorer by right clicking on the executable and selecting “Send To” “Desktop (create shortcut)”

VMware KVM -Desktop Shortcut

Once the shortcut is created on the desktop edit the shortcut properties and in the “Target Field” enter the path to the “.vmx” file of the selected VM. Make sure the path to the VM is after the quotes and is also inside its own quotes. Click Apply and OK to exit the desktop shortcut properties. The path to my selected VM as an example would be “O:\VMs\Windows 7 SP1 x64\Windows 7 SP1 x64.vmx” and would come after the path to the vmware-kvm.exe file location as shown below.

VMware KVM Desktop Shortcut 1R1

Click on the newly created desktop shortcut to launch the VM in Full Screen. To cycle through the running VMs and current host OS desktop screen use the configured hotkey which in my case is the “Pause” key. To run more VMs in KVM mode create additional shortcuts for the vmware-kvm.exe executable and point to the VM you would like to run.

In the short video below (no audio) I created three vmware-kvm.exe shortcuts on my Win 8.1 desktop for various Windows OS VMs (Win XP, Win Vista, Win 7) and launch each one and cycle through the VMs with the Pause hot-key and then back to my WIn 8.1 desktop.

Spring is in the Air

We are celebrating Spring this week in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa) with a cool 15% discount on VMware Workstation 10. This sale will not last long so act quickly for changing of the season savings.

VMware Workstation:

  • Buy Workstation 10 and get 15% off
  • Upgrade to Workstation 10 from Workstation 8 or 9 and get 15% off

This offer starts on Monday, March 17th at 8 PM Pacific Time and ends on March 20th at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.