VMware refreshes Workstation 10 for Windows 8.1 and more

Desktop virtualization update soups up performance with added support for virtual machines and a new Virtual SATA disk, as well as faster startup times

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With the needle pointing to new and interesting, Workstation 10 is said to offer "the industry's first virtual accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and ambient light sensor to enable applications running in a virtual machine to respond when a user interacts with their tablet." And in today's world of touch screen devices, this enhancement should raise its fair share of eyebrows.  This additional capability should also help developers test data-driven mobile apps.

As Workstation 10 becomes more corporate-friendly, security and control within the desktop virtualization environment becomes more important as well.  This latest release creates something called "Restricted virtual machines."  These are encrypted and can be created and set to expire at a specified date and time so users can only access them for a pre-determined period.  When the virtual machine is powered on, it will query the server at specified time intervals, storing the current system time in the restricted VM's policy file as the last trusted timestamp.  An expired virtual machine will automatically suspend and will not restart without administrator intervention.  This added capability is perfect for maintaining control and delivering applications to employees, contractors or students.

And finally, don't worry: VMware didn't forget about the cloud. With the beefed-up virtual machine specifications available in Workstation 10, believe it or not users can build and run a cloud on their desktop machines using popular applications from Pivotal, Puppet Labs, and Vagrant.  While it may sound crazy, you can run a 64-bit VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V server inside of a Workstation VM.  And within that VM, you can also run VMware's Micro Cloud Foundry or Apache's OpenStack cloud software.  What a great way to learn how to setup your own cloud environment!  But it goes without saying; this should be limited to educational purposes only.

Workstation 10 is priced at $249.99 for a new license, but VMware is also offering an upgrade from version 8 or 9 for $119.  And if you happened to have purchased VMware Workstation 9 (full license or upgrade) between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, the company is offering a free upgrade to version 10.

This article, "VMware refreshes Workstation 10 for Windows 8.1 and more," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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