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.
VMware Workstation 10 ships with support for Windows 8.1, improved performance, more control over your virtual machine, multi-monitor support and much more.
What's new in VMware Workstation 10.0.02?
- Better audio performance and compatibility with certain USB audio/video devices.
- USB devices can be connected to the Linux RHEL 5 guest operating system.
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are supported as guest operating system
- OpenSUSE 13.1 is officially supported as a host operating system.
- Blu-ray drives can burn CDs when connected to the virtual machine.
- Using Microsoft Word and Excel in unity mode no longer produces a beep.
- The UAC dialog of the Windows 8 virtual machine no longer causes the host application windows to be blanked out on Linux Host.
- The sound card can be automatically added to a virtual machine on a Linux host at power up.
- Windows 8.1 guest operating system no longer display a black screen when launching Metro style applications from the launch menu.
- Hotkeys can be used in the Preference dialog in KVM mode.
- Improved compatibility of GL renderer with new Nvidia drivers
- Improved graphics quality with Solidworks applications.
- Virtual machines imported from a physical PC no longer crash on startup.
- Reading and writing to a file using two threads with a shared folder has been improved.
- Linux virtual machines access updated contents when using shared folders.
- Workstation now launches on Ubuntu 14.04.