VMWare Fusion V5 review is superseding this older version, but you can still read the V4 coverage below.
Not long ago, if someone was to ask me my choice in virtualization of OSs on a laptop or desktop, I would’ve answered the question with a question. That being: do you use a Mac or PC?
If the person was an OS X type, the words Parallels would have come out of my mouth in a heartbeat. Conversely for PC users with equal speed I would have said VMware Workstation.
While experience was my guide, it seems with new releases things have changed. With a New Year, I finally got the chance to sample VMware’s Fusion 4 and it appears VMware got some people that understand how virtualization even on a laptop should work. In terms of raw performance the two competitors appeared to be doing well enough to call it a tie but some VMware’s feature with new Lion interface enhancements are impressive with full screen mode so easy to use.
The pros tend to take VMware’s Fusion over Parallels V 7 because the integration of the Windows icons into Lions toolbar makes a cleaner User Interface for those that need both operating systems on their hands at the same time. It just reduces desktop clutter.
Further, Vmware as king of virtualization products is well known by developers and system administrators. The upshot of this is this group of people has a collection of images already built in VMware. And since almost any virtual machine image created in VMware can be used by another VMware product, it makes sense this group would stay in the VMware world.
It has been said here before and it is worth repeating, if you’re looking for a strong product to run Windows on a Mac if for no other reason than a clean easy interface, then you’ll appreciate the polish of VMware with its product Fusion V4.