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Virtualisation software specialist VMware has begun asking owners of Intel-based Macs to participate in a public test of its upcoming VMware for Mac OS X utility. Testing is due to commence "later in the year", the company said.

Unlike Parallels, the software developer that first shipped code to allow x86 Macs to run Windows and other operating systems without the need to restart the computer each time, VMware's emphasis is very much on corporate, high-end usage. It also targets software developers, and that's where the Mac version of VMware is likely to be pitched, though it will be interesting to see the extent to which the company looks downmarket to individual users: folk moving to Mac from a Windows PC but who want to take one or two apps with them.

VMware's beta test programme appears to be geared toward its traditional user communities in research, software development and enterprise data-centre computing. It's not saying how many testers it hopes to recruit, or when those selected will receive software to play with.

However, it's demo'ing the code alongside Apple's Worldwide Developer conference, held in San Francisco, today. ®

Read Reg Hardware's in-depth report on running Windows on an Intel Mac here

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