I haven’t had any hands-on time with the new version yet, but the list of features that VMware has revealed leaves me anxious to get my mitts on it:
- Snow Leopard support, including a 64-bit engine and support for OS X’s 64-bit kernel.
- Full support for Windows 7, including the Aero interface and Flip 3D task switching and better support for DirectX and OpenGL graphics.
- A migration utility that lets you import a real PC’s Windows installation over the network. (Parallels introduced something similar in August, but did so in a separate version of the product that does the job over a bundled USB cable.)
- A menu for your Windows apps that appears on the right-hand side of OS X’s Menu Bar, reducing or eliminating the need to use Windows’ Start menu and Taskbar.
- A more efficient engine that’s less taxing on a Mac’s CPU, can run Windows well in 1GB of RAM, and reduces battery drain, according to VMware. I’m especially happy about that last point-my biggest beef with both Fusion and Parallels is the dramatically reduced battery life I get when they’re running. (Still to be determined: How this version’s speed compares to Parallels-the Parallels folks understandably like to tout this MacTech story that shows their product outperforming Fusion 2 in most tests.)
In all, VMware says that Fusion 3 has more than fifty new features. It’ll cost $79.99 for new users; an upgrade version will be $39.99. A few screens supplied by VMware after the jump.
Windows 7 Flip 3D running in a window within OS X:
The new menu for Windows apps, complete with Spotlight-like searching of your virtual Windows machine:
The Migration Assistant: