A few years ago running virtualisation tools was a bit of a disaster, particularly when the virtual operating system had to emulate the CPU, graphics card and shared memory with your system. On a single-core machine, this resulted in severe slow-down. Using Windows on a PowerPC Mac was just not feasible apart from testing software.

These days running a virtual version an operating system is practical. There’s no reason why you couldn’t run and test Windows 8 on your XP machine or vice-versa, using an old copy of Windows XP on your Windows 8 machine, to test software before you install on your primary operating system.

VMware Workstation is one of the best virtual managers and will enable you to install and user more than one operating system. You can run Windows 8 and XP side-by-side or a Linux install on top of Windows and so on. Best of all, as VMware Workstation supports multi-core processors, this means that you can assign two CPU cores to your host and the remaining two to your virtual PC and you’ll find it runs very smoothly.

Using a virtual operating system is ideal for testing new software. Any install on the virtual PC remains secure and locked within that environment. You can even take a snapshot of the virtual OS so you can quickly go back to a previous state if the installed software fails to perform as expected.

What's new in v12?

- Support of Windows 10
- Run Windows 10 as a virtual machine
- Other new operating systems support: Ubuntu 15.04, Fedora 22, CentOS 7.1, RHEL 7.1, Oracle Linux 7.1, VMware Project Photon
- Advanced graphics: DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3
- Performance improvements for suspending and resuming encrypted virtual machines
- Support for 4K monitors with high resolution UI
- Support for multiple monitors with different DPI settings
- Echo cancellation for voice and video calls with Microsoft Lync and Skype
- Added USB 3.0 support to Windows 7 virtual machines (with the latest Intel USB driver)
- Improved standard installer
 -Respect left-handed mouse setting on Windows host

Verdict

One of the best, if not the best, virtualisation managers, which will enable you to create your own virtual operating system as well as host on your computer