VMware tweaks Workstation for Linux and Windows

Long-term Longhorn strategy

VMware - the partitioning arm of EMC - has rolled out a new version of its workstation product, building in new tools for the latest versions of Windows and Linux.

VMware Workstation 4.5 is truly ahead of its time, as it includes support for builds of Microsoft's delayed and distant "Longhorn" version of Windows. A bit nearer reality, the new release also supports versions of Linux using the 2.6 kernel. As always, VMware bills the Workstation product as a nice tool for testing software, since it allows developers to run multiple operating systems on a single system.

Or as VMware enthusiastically puts it, "With its powerful networking capabilities, VMware Workstation users can build and test server-class applications running in Microsoft Windows, Linux or Novell NetWare operating environments, all on a single desktop. Essential features such as virtual networking, live snapshots, integration with Windows Performance Monitor, and PXE (pre-boot execution environment) support make VMware Workstation an indispensable tool for the enterprise IT developer."

Also new to the 4.5 release is a Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) which lets users boot and install operating systems into a new partition - or virtual machine - over the network. VMware has added another Windows tool as well, tying Workstation into the Windows Performance Monitor software.

Plug-and-play USB devices will now work with virtual machines and a new automatic update tool has been added in too.

Windows and Linux users can pick up the latest release for $189 a pop. Existing VMware customers of version 4.0 and higher receive the upgrade at no charge.

Just in case your weren't paying attention, EMC closed its $635 million acquisition of VMware earlier this year. ®

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