Owning a Mac in all of its glory can sometimes be limiting. Sure, Apple provides cutting-edge software and application development, but its lack of compatibility with other operating systems leaves some users out in the cold. If you are wondering how to run a guest OS and utilize the power of virtual machines, you’ll find this VMware fusion review useful.
VMware Fusion allows you to install hundreds of operating systems onto Mac with the use of virtual machines and supporting Kubernetes clusters and vSphere connections. VMware is sophisticated enough to be used by professional IT users and simple enough to navigate for personal use.
What Makes VMware Stand Out
Among the leading products for creating virtual machines and running another operating system on a Mac computer is the Macintosh Fusion software. It’s an excellent solution for both professionals and novice users, and the VMware company focuses on delivering digital solutions that can transform the world.
- Easy switch between software environments
- Accelerates Windows apps smoothly
- Easy upgrades
- Feature/patch releases are common
- Runs Windows in full screen
- Easy to set up and manage
- File copying could be better
- It could be faster for 3D work
- Expensive, based on VMware fusion reviews
Founded in 1998, VMware has always been focusing on technology innovations. It’s transforming healthcare, banking, retail, and other industries, working to solve customers’ daily issues. The company has been working on the toughest challenges in AI, edge computing, blockchain, and others, to help define and accelerate the next wave of technological advancements.
VMware believes that technology is a force for good. According to VMware fusion reviews, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, and sustainability are just a few of the things it works on, aside from developing software solutions. Zane Rowe is the CEO of VMware, and with his team of experts in Palo Alto, California, the company has opened offices across the globe.
The company has a strong presence in the industry, and that’s why we’ve created this VMware fusion review.
VMware Pricing Plans
VMware Fusion is a powerful local desktop virtualization tool for IT experts. There is an option to download Fusion 12 Pro for free, but the download page was on maintenance at the moment of writing this review. The 30-day free trial is enough time to test out the product in full and see if you’re willing to commit to a purchase.
Find the free trial download listed next to the regular prices. This option allows customers to immediately know what they’re getting and whether they can test the VMware fusion for free.
The pricing plans are as follows:
- Fusion 12 Player – $149
VMware Fusion Player is a tool to help you run another OS on Mac. You can use it with a Personal (free license with registration) or Commercial license.
- Fusion 12 Pro – $199
This edition is for IT and other professional users. If you believe you’ll need technical support, you’ll have to pay an additional price. You can choose from Basic, Complementary, or Production customer support.
- Fusion 12 Pro + Support basic 1 year – $241
There’s also a VMware Fusion upgrade price for all three versions of the product if you already own version 10:
- Fusion 12 Player – $79 for upgrade
- Fusion 12 Pro – $99 for upgrade
- Fusion 12 Pro + Support basic 1 year – $141 for upgrade
We find these pricing plans confusing, especially if you just started exploring the various VMware offers available such as Workstation.
To avoid possible confusion, we’ll mention that the Workstation pricing plans are similar to the Fusion ones.
The company also has an academic program available with special discounts for university or college students, parents, or faculty staff members. The VMware Fusion price for the offer of Simply Powerful Virtualization for the Classroom is $119, and the upgrade is $59.
VMware has exclusive benefits for its employees. Since this company is a part of Dell Technologies, it offers Dell discounts. The Dell employee purchase program lets VMware employees get an additional 17% off Dell Consumer PCs and E&A, Small Business PCs, and Dell outlet PCs. Based on the employee reviews we read, VMware workers are happy with this and many other available discounts with the other partners.
VMware Fusion Reviews of Services
We have already mentioned that VMware Fusion lets you run other x86 OSs on your Mac. Keep reading for an overview of the service’s various features.
Run Any OS on a Mac
VMware Fusion software helps to install any other operating system on a macOS device. It’s a tool for professional IT users, businesses, and developers, but people can use it in a regular setting as well. VMware can run more than just Windows on Mac. Currently, it supports more than 200 operating systems, some of the most popular being:
- Windows 10, 8, 7, XP
- Linux Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora
- macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave
All of these and other OSs can operate without rebooting your Mac. It helps you create a virtual machine and install whichever OS you like. With it, you can also convert your old PC. The crucial feature is the ability to run multiple VMs on one Mac simultaneously.
VMware Fusion system requirements are:
- All Mac devices launched in 2012 or later are supported. That also includes the 2010 Mac Pro Six Core, Eight Core, and Twelve Core.
There are some exceptions, however. The following Mac is not supported:
- 2012 Mac Pro Quad Core with Intel Xeon W3565 Processor
Fusion 12 supports Mac with macOS 11.0 Big Sur and macOS 10.15 Catalina. Unfortunately, if you own any Mac with macOS 10.14 or earlier, Fusion 10 won’t function.
Keep in mind that VMware Fusion for Windows doesn’t come with a Windows installation. You’ll need to obtain a copy of Windows or any other operating system you wish to install and use.
Develop and Test for Any Platform
Since VMware Fusion has been designed with professionals in mind, developers usually use it to create and test any app on various platforms, clouds, or devices. The vctl tool lets users run existing templates or build custom OCI containers and design apps with Kubernetes.
Connect to VMware vSphere
Being among the best virtualization software for Mac, it gives you the option to connect to vSphere and launch or control virtual machines. To make it understandable to novice users: vSphere is an industry-leading computer virtualization platform for application modernization. vSphere delivers AI, developer-ready infrastructure, scalability, and simplified operations.
Users can transfer virtual machines from the vSphere data center to their Mac and then use Fusion to run them.
Run Local Corporate Desktops
VMware is great for businesses because it allows users to run a separate corporate desktop on their devices. The VMware software can create a virtual machine on Mac, which separates corporate desktops from physical devices. Users can lock the devices by disabling copy/paste, drag/drop, shared folders, and USB access. VMs can also be encrypted or password-protected, meaning only allowed users can access them.
Ready for MacOS BigSur
The latest Fusion has been optimized for macOS Big Sur. It has the support for operating without Kernel extensions, which makes it more secure for macOS.
Fusion provides hardware-accelerated DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 capabilities to Windows and Linux VMs. With this, users can run complex and intensive GPU games and applications and enjoy an improved 3D engine.
VMware Fusion Unity Mode
Even though gamers can use VMware for playing, the Unity Mode might make some users think they can develop games with the well-known Unity game engine, but that’s not the purpose of the feature.
Use Unity Mode to display programs that are running on the VM on the host desktop. The VM console remains hidden, but the apps are accessible via the taskbar. Programs will open as separate windows and have a glowing bar around them to show the user that they’re running on the VM and not the host computer. Such programs and apps you can set to full screen.
VMware Fusion on Mac can use this mode to run multiple programs simultaneously without users having to close any. Still, according to a couple of videos we saw, users claim this feature has a lag. It’s supposed to open with Ctrl+Shift+U, but nothing happens.
Everyone needs more space, and both Fusion Pro and Player versions of the VMware support virtual machines of bigger sizes, with up to 32 CPU cores, 128 GB RAM, 10 TB virtual disks, and 8 GB VRAM.
Professional Virtual Networking
Professional virtual networking is one of the features of the VMware Fusion Professional edition. Fusion Pro also manages Virtual Network configurations, allows for the creation of new networks, modifies subnet settings, configures NAT, and even more. Users can observe the traffic of each network with a standard PCAP reader as well.
Snapchats and Clones
Snapchats serve to create a rollback point that is useful for software testing. Clones can test different scenarios, and the clone features are only available with the Pro version of the software.
Works with Boot Camp
VMware Fusion for Windows 10 is compatible with Boot Camp. Boot Camp is another macOS utility to help you switch between macOS and Windows. To use this Fusion feature, make sure to have Windows installed on the Boot Camp. Fusion will enable you to run both Windows and Mac apps at the same time straight from the Boot Camp partition without rebooting.
Integrated experience lets you copy and paste or drag and drop files and folders between Mac and Windows seamlessly. You can customize each aspect of it for an improved experience and professional or advanced usage.
This feature is another reason to buy VMware Fusion software. It lets you isolate Mac from Windows and keep the operating systems secure. It prevents both systems from colliding with each other and causing potential lags.
Retina and 6K Display Support
VMware Fusion makes Windows look great regardless of your preferred display settings. It supports mixed-retina and non-retina settings and looks equally good on 4K, 5K, or 6K displays. The Retina display makes everything look crisp. Since very few other manufacturers use the Retina display besides Apple, you get to enjoy crystal clear Windows from your Mac device.
VMware Fusion 10
Let’s briefly take a look at what led to the creation of Fusion 12. The Fusion 10 edition of the software was released on the company’s 10th anniversary and brought various innovations. It had an updated user interface and one of the most prominent features—Apple’s Metal Graphic support. This feature boosted the performance and battery power, creating a proper environment to run games or professional applications like AutoCAD.
Fusion 10 Pro added new vSphere controls and improved integration, new Windows virtualization-based security features, and upgraded virtual networking. Today, VMware Fusion 12 features are created to enhance the functionality of Fusion 10 and offer even more.
VMware Customer Support
For customer support, head over to the company’s website. There, you’ll find a chatbot that appears if the support is online.
There are two basic ways to contact customer support: by phone and by filing a support request. The support request is the fastest way to receive a response, but if you like the in-person feel, give them a call.
There is also an extensive Help page, which gives answers to many questions and can help solve problems you might have with VMware Fusion Pro or Play.
If you’re unable to file the request, there’s a global toll-free option as well. Make sure to have the customer number ready if you have a VMware account. The support is available Monday to Friday, 6 AM to 6 PM PST/PTD.
When it comes to the customer reviews, we couldn’t find any particular issues with the support team.
After this VMware Fusion review, it’s understandable why this software solution is on the top list for products of this type on the market. Geared towards professional users, VMware Fusion provides you with an extensive array of features that improve your experience while running macOS and another operating system at the same time.
If you’re a novice user, you might easily be confused about some features of the program. Keep in mind that some are complex, and if you plan to use them only for their most fundamental characteristics, you might want to search for a more affordable solution.
People Also Ask
VMware Fusion Player edition comes as free software with a personal use license. It’s available with a valid MyVMware account for home users, open-source contributors, students, and others. Anyone can use the software for free if it’s for non-commercial use.
To get VMware Fusion Player for free, log in or create an account on the official VMware website, and you’ll get access to the free download from your account. If you have any difficulty during installation, make sure to check out the Installation & Configuration tab to learn more about the software.
If you intend to use VMware Fusion for commercial use, you’ll have to purchase the software. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come as a one-time purchase, just a subscription. When you subscribe, you protect your purchased software by getting access to all major and minor updates and releases launched during your subscription period. Subscriptions are purchased annually. Before purchasing, you’ll have access to a 30-day free trial download, with no registration required. For more information, you’re free to contact the VMware Sales team.
The VMware product offering might confuse some users, but here’s the difference between the Workstation and Fusion. Fusion is a desktop virtualization software that lets you run multiple OSs on your Mac. Workstation does the same, but selecting which one to use depends on the OS of your desktop.
If you already have a macOS and want to use Windows or Linux, you’ll need Fusion. If you have Windows or Linux installed and want to add another operating system, you’ll need Workstation.
VMware Fusion lets you create a virtual machine on your Mac device and install more operating systems. With this software, you can run various Windows applications, and it has a simple migration setting to help you move your complete PC to your Mac device in a virtual machine.
With VMware Fusion, you don’t need to reboot your device. It’s strong enough for pro users, but even non-tech savvy people can enjoy its features. This software also enables you to connect to vSphere or develop and test for various platforms.
Unfortunately, VMware doesn’t come with the Windows 10 installation. It only serves to create a virtual machine onto which you can install Windows. If you’ve purchased the software and want to run Windows 10, first check the system requirements. Then proceed to backup your Mac.
Aside from VMware, you’ll also need a copy of Windows 10 that you can download from the Microsoft Windows 10 ISO page online. Once you’ve installed VMware and set it up, drag the Windows 10 ISO file to the installation window. Follow the steps to finish the installation, and you’ll have Windows 10 on your Mac within minutes.
If you’re interested in testing out VMware Fusion for commercial use, you can download the 30-day free trial with no need for registration. Keep in mind the system requirements and whether your Mac is supported.
You can experience the product in full during your free trial, and it takes just minutes to get you started. Since some users mentioned that the price is high, you’ll have enough time to evaluate the software and see whether you’ll like what it has to offer. You’re free to contact the VMware Sales team at any time, should you have additional questions.
If you’re ready to purchase a license after the free trial version, the prices will differ based on the products and whether you already own Fusion 10. You’ll have to pay $149 for Fusion 12 Player, with $79 for an upgrade from the 10 edition. Fusion 12 Pro is $199, with $99 for the upgrade, and Fusion 12 Pro with Support would be $241, with $141 for the upgrade.
If you’re an IT professional, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy what this program has in store. If you have any doubts, remember the 30-day free trial mentioned in our VMware fusion review.