Wednesday, February 7, 2007

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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.


John C. Welch said...

iMovie. The product name you wish for is iMovie

Regis "HPReg" Duchesne said...

John, thanks for catching this. I guess I was a bit tired when I wrote this. It shoud now be fixed.

Sergio said...

Any date for next beta build with 3D Support??

I realy want to play CS on my macbook pro without rebooting


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this video is not amaturish. just made to look like that, meaning its probably released by VMWare, for mainly hype as Parallels Desktop has had a huge following with their latest release.
Also I dont see the point of it unless they implement directX 9 atleast.

Peter Johnson said...

Anonymous, while I agree with you everything is possible in these days of guerilla marketing, I don't think the video is coming from VMWare: it would make no marketing sense at all to release it the exact same day they are announcing their IPO.

Just like the title in the video says, to support 3D in a VM, you have to start somewhere. That somewhere is DirectX 8.1. Since nobody else has demonstrated that capability in the world so far, I for one am happy to finally see a video of it. It just proves VMWare is serious when they say they are working on DirectX 9 support.

Tech by Don said...

Looks like a promotional video to me, fairly high quality, extensive length of video for someone to just show off the features.

Anonymous said...

Ok for DirectX 8.1, but what about OpenGL?

So far I can be concerned VMWare/Parallels May be usefull to make Architects switch to Mac, but
-AutoCAD require OpenGL, not DirectX
- 3DSMAx (for Game Modeling business) Need OpenGL or better DirectX 9.xx to acces some programable Shader effects.

I do not Talk about Gaming where Rebooting is painfull but not critical to earn the money...

Anonymous said...

OpenGL works, because actually all what it does is using Apple display drivers to render DX. So yes, it goes like this : Windows DirectX ---> OpenGL from MacOS, just like Crossover does.

So don't expect it to be as fast as running a game natively in Windows.

Chabi said...

I can't wait to put my hands on an Intel Mac to test all that out.
Keep up the good work, I wish we could have more infos on what you are doing.

Another french that landed at EMC.

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