Saturday, December 8, 2007

Usability is everything

In the video below, somebody combined 3 ideas
  • Use the accelerometer in your Mac to detect a tap
  • Use a tap to switch Spaces (Apple's marketing speak for "virtual desktops")
  • Run Windows in VMware Fusion, on one Space, in full screen mode
And came up with a nice solution to the usability problem of working with several computers.

Abstract objects, when manipulated using tools available to us in the real world, immediately become much more concrete.

Watch innovation in action! The video begins with the nitty gritty implementation details. Skip to 1:50 to watch the demo.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tetris book shelves

We moved in our new, green, beautiful campus a few months ago.

But a few days ago, somebody decided that the whole company really needed ugly bookshelves which look terrible in an otherwise classy building.

So a few members of the Hosted UI team (the team which encompasses the Fusion UI team) took on hacking the shelves, in honor of the famous Russian game on which we spent so many hours as kids.

I'm starting to think that this team has too much time on its hands. Get back to work already!

Friday, September 14, 2007

One more reason not to use Boot Camp

One of our customers recently complained that VMware Fusion was preventing Windows XP to see all the RAM available in his Mac when booting natively from the Boot Camp partition. This didn't make any sense to me, so I investigated.

  • It turned out that VMware Fusion was not the cause of the problem. Apple's Boot Camp was the cause of the problem:
    I've got 3GB of RAM in my MP, yet WinXP only recognizes 2GB.

    It seems the issue affects all versions of the Apple software (up to 1.4 as of this writing). It might be a problem in the legacy BIOS part of the Mac's EFI.

  • Funnily enough, it also turned out that VMware Fusion was a solution to the problem. When booting your Boot Camp partition in VMware Fusion, Windows XP will see exactly the amount of RAM you have configured for that virtual machine, and you can crank that value up to 3.6 GB, at which point you will hit Windows XP's limit (the article claims the limit is 4 GB, but it actually is 3.6 GB).

So if you were planning to run a memory-intensive workload (like a database or a digital media authoring application) in Windows XP natively on a Mac, consider doing it in VMware Fusion instead.

For almost all devices, a VMware Fusion virtual machine is actually closer to a PC than an Intel-based Mac is. Currently there is one obvious exception to this rule: modern 3D GPUs. But if you attended VMworld 2007, you might have seen that we are actively working on removing that last hurdle...

Monday, August 6, 2007


In January 2006, I started porting the VMware hosted virtualization engine to Mac OS X by myself. I had never touched an Apple computer before.

A year and a half later, we have built a world-class team of Mac engineers, and on behalf of the team I'm happy to announce the general availability of VMware Fusion 1.0.

It has been quite an adventure, with its share of frustrations and nights of sleep deprivation, but there is nothing like user satisfaction to make you forget about it. The fine folks over at MacInTouch certainly seem to enjoy it:
we're quite impressed with Fusion. Windows integration is excellent, and the fact that Linux has VMware Tools integration at all is fantastic — not to mention support for less common OS's
Fusion is an outstanding first release for the Mac that builds on the company's long history of virtualization.
the development team focusses on stability and reliability.
VMware appears to be rock solid. The user interface is polished, attractive and well thought out, and the setup assistant makes it fast and easy to set up a usable Windows environment. Fusion makes Windows behave as close to a Mac as is reasonably possible — and that's really quite something.

Effective now, you can order from
By mid-August, you will also be able to buy the Fusion box at any of these stores: Apple retail stores, Fry's, Office Depot, Staples, CompUSA, Best Buy,, Microcenter, ...

In his blog, Srinivas gives more info about the design of the box.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Buy one, get half of one free

"The Kingmaker: Walt Mossberg makes or breaks products from his pundit perch at a little rag called The Wall Street Journal", Wired, May, 2004.

Well, Walt gave his verdict on VMware Fusion:

I've been testing Fusion, and I've found it works well. [...] Fusion is allowing me to simultaneously run several popular Windows programs -- Microsoft Outlook, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. Each is running in its own window, just as if it were a native Mac program. I can switch from one to the other rapidly and smoothly. Their icons show up on the Mac's "Dock," just like the icons for Mac programs.

Hurry up! Time is running out to buy VMware Fusion at $ 40! Really soon, it will only be available at its normal $ 80 retail price! Consider yourself warned... :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

One step closer

If you enjoyed the Unity in VMware Fusion video we released yesterday, you will be happy to learn that you can now try it for yourself!

That is right, VMware Fusion beta 4 is fresh out of the oven. Go get it!

Of course, this is a beta, so things are still a bit rough around the edges, but it will only improve from there, and as usual your feedback will drive how we prioritize improvements.

Starting with VMware Fusion beta 4, we have begun the performance tuning. Among other things, we have dramatically improved the speed at which you can move or resize guest windows. Try it!

For a more complete list of the things we have improved in VMware Fusion beta 4, I encourage you to take a look at the release notes.


In an interview with Ars Technica, our esteemed Mac competitor's Director of Corporate Communications, Ben Rudolph, said
Coherence is one of the great things that we have done that VMware has not done yet ...

Our customers agreed with that statement.

... although maybe they are looking at something like that

Our customers told us they loved the feature. We listen to our customers: if we don't take care of them, somebody else will. So you bet we have looked at something like that.

While our Mac competitor was busy fighting a threatening lawsuit and cloning our Multiple Snapshots feature, we have been busy cloning their Coherence feature. That is only fair game. In the end the customer benefits.

But we didn't stop at copying the feature. We went ahead and improved on it. Introducing Unity in VMware Fusion. Taking a page from the highly successful 3D support in VMware Fusion video (190 000 viewers so far), we decided to make an official video of Unity in VMware Fusion. Me and 3 other Mac teammates had a blast producing it. If you like it, digg it!

So yes Scott, this is very real. Competition is a good thing indeed, and it has just started...

Did I mention we are hiring? If you are a kick-ass Mac OS X developer looking for a challenging job in a pre-IPO company, send your resume my way.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Double Dragon

Today was one of these surreal days where you are high on adrenaline and nothing gets accomplished.

First, at 12.59 PM Pacific Time (i.e. exactly 1 minute before the East-Coast-based market closed) VMware's President announced that EMC, VMware's parent company, would sell 10% of VMware in an Initial Public Offering. Apparently, that is what Wall Street wanted, as the EMC stock price immediately gained 7% in after-hours trading.

Second, the cat came out of the bag. Somebody managed to get a hand on an internal beta build of VMware Fusion whose UI offers a way to accelerate 3D graphics in virtual machines, and even made a video of some serious 3D gaming action in Fusion.

This video kind of caught us by surprise. The timing is somewhat bad, because one piece of news shadows the other.

I have been looking for clues in the video to find out who made it. The video is clearly amateur:
  • No tripod was used. The image constantly drifts as if somebody was trying to hold the camcorder still.
  • The transition effects are typical of off-the-shelf iMovie on the Mac.
  • The video is a bit too long at times, some sequences could have been shortened.
The author of this video (a woman if the female voice-over is any indication?) is obviously a dedicated VMware and Mac zealot. While I wish we had done this video ourselves, given how well the video has been received so far, I can only say "Thank You".

VMware products have had a semi-hidden switch for some sort of 3D support in virtual machines on Linux and Windows since VMware Workstation 5.0, which was released almost 2 years ago (April 2005).

Since then, work on the 3D front has been progressing steadily, with DirectX 8.1 support in VMware Workstation 6 and VMware Fusion (both are built from the same code base).

Internally, our goal is to support DirectX 9 for Windows Vista's Aero.

Update: Renamed iVideo to iMovie.

Update: Aero requires DirectX 9, not 10.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ship it

I spent a significant part of yesterday loading virtual appliances onto an iMac to demo VMware Fusion at Macworld (Jan 8th - 12th, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA). Just in time: the box shipped today!

If you want any of these:
  • Learn more about global virtualization leader VMware
  • Discover the power of Fusion
  • Share your experience so far using the beta version of Fusion
  • Chat with members of the Fusion team around a beer
  • Win cool stuff
  • Land a challenging Mac job at a fast-growing company
Then swing by VMware's booth S339. I hope to see most of you forum posters there!