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.