New VMware beta runs on Windows Vista

VMware, the market-leading virtualization software for x86 computers, released a new beta version of its Workstation 6 software that includes support for Windows Vista.

An announcement to customers last week said Vista can now be used to host other virtual machines using VMware's virtualization software. Virtualization lets multiple operating systems run on the same computer, which can be handy when, for example, older applications won't run on a new operating system.

According to the release notes, the Workstation 6 beta also lets the software use multiple monitors, either with one virtual machine spanning multiple monitors or different VMs on different monitors.

The beta also is integrated with debugging features in Microsoft Visual Studio and the open-source Eclipse programming tools. Also for programmers, the new Workstation can be controlled by scripts that automate testing.

Other features:

• Paravirtualized Linux kernels, such as those for the open-source Xen virtualization software, will run in virtual machines.

• Files and directories can be copied via drag-and-drop between Windows and Linux hosts and guest VMs running Linux, Windows and Solaris.

• VMware Worksation's previous limit to 4GB of memory for all virtual machines has been removed. Individual VMs now may have up to 8GB each, and the total is capped only by how much memory is in the computer.

• Battery information is reported to guest virtual machines.

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