It’s a good thing electrons are not like trees. Enough is been said about Windows 8 to extract every forest on the planet. If you read the tea leaves on VMware you can see they are planning a major update to Fusion 5. We know that Windows 8 is being released on October 24 and it appears VMware is poised to take advantage with the release of its own. You can tell because they are offering a free upgrade from version 4 for purchases made through September 30, 2012. There are a few improvements that simply have to go along with Fusion 5 to go along with Windows 8.
For example Fusion 5 will have to support active screen corners. For those of you who were not looked at Windows 8 the Start button is gone. It uses the four corners of the screen to replace the Start button. I also expect to see some sort of progress display in the Mac dock for operations such as downloading in Windows. A welcome feature would be the ability to set Windows applications as the default for CDs and DVDs.
I would also look for some improvements in the coherence mode so that it may work more smoothly with the Windows 8 tablet type view. In Windows 8 is easy to group together the launch buttons so the ones you use most often are grouped together. So I expect to be able to group my Windows apps under an application icon in the dock on the Mac. Using the latest version of VMware Fusion 4 I was already able to migrate from Parallels 7 Windows 8 Release Preview. Parallels has been taking a swipe at VMware with a competitive upgrade pricing offer. I will print out this review and eat it if the Empire of VMware does not strike back with a competitive upgrade offering to switch away from Parallels.
Also look for the ability to migrate Internet bookmarks between the browsers on the host and guest OS.
USB 3 is coming into its own. At first USB 3 components were expensive. That has changed recently and I fully expect to see USB 3 support in VMware Fusion 5 and possibly the ability to migrate a PC over USB.
VMware does an excellent job of allowing you to dedicate a CPU core to a specific app. Look for some improvements in performance if you are running Mac with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7.
As DirectX in Windows is no longer a standard SDK however integrated across the entire OS beginning with Windows 8 I expect to see increased memory support for the maximum amount of video RAM per virtual machine. And of course an upgrade on the DirectX 3-D graphics support in VMware Fusion 5. As it appears, FireWire is slowly going away I’m not expecting pass-through support. They don’t have it now and with Thunderbolt being pushed by Intel and Apple I can’t see them wasting coding time on adding this.
I’ve got my ear to the ground so stay tuned right here for the coming VMware Fusion 5 review.