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VMware unveils Fusion 2.0, VClient initiative

The virtualization company updates its Fusion software for running Windows on Mac and makes a pitch for what it calls "universal clients."

A day after embracing cloud computing, VMware on Tuesday turned its focus to desktop applications.

In conjunction with its VMworld conference, the virtualization company announced the general availability of VMware Fusion 2.0, its software for running the Windows operating system on the Mac. Along with touting new features and enhancements from version 1.x, VMware stressed that Fusion 2.0 "makes Windows even safer on the Mac" through its use of automatic virtual machine snapshots and an on-the-house 12-month subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus.

Fusion 2.0, which is the company's rival to the Parallels software for running Windows on Mac, also lets users add up to four virtual CPUs to a virtual machine, and it adds support for Mac OS X Leopard Server. The suggested retail price for the software, available online now, is $79.99.

VMware also announced its VClient Initiative, which is intended to foster "universal clients" that would let users access their set of desktop applications--hosted in a data center--from any device, anywhere. It is kicking off the initiative with a set of products called VMware View, including Composer for managing desktop images.

That effort would seem to dovetail nicely with VMware's Monday announcements, including the launch of its Virtual Datacenter Operating System technology, in which it staked its claim to the enterprise end of cloud computing.