VMware announces Fusion 3 with more than 50 new features

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VMware Tuesday announced the latest update to its Fusion virtualization software, with a new version optimized for Snow Leopard and sporting full support for Windows 7, including Aero.

Oct. 27 is the worldwide launch date for VMware Fusion 3, now available for pre-order. VMware has said that the latest version will include more than 50 new features and enhancements, including greater support for graphics-intensive games in Windows.

"For more than 10 years, VMware virtualization has given users the choice of where to run their favorite applications. We're excited about the rapid adoption of VMware Fusion in the Mac community since its introduction just over two years ago, making it the No. 1 choice to run Windows on a Mac," said Jocelyn Goldfein, vice president and general manager, desktop business unit. "VMware Fusion 3 builds on our proven platform and makes it even easier for users to run Windows applications on the Mac."

VMware Fusion 3 has been optimized for Snow Leopard and takes advantage of the 64-bit architecture in Mac OS X 10.6. The new version will have a new 64-bit core engine to allow the "ultimate Windows 7 experience," offering Windows Aero and Flip 3D.

In addition, 3D graphics support will extend to OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3. Gamers will be able to run their favorite titles through Fusion 3 without rebooting.

The company has also touted that Fusion 3 will make it easier for users to migrate from PC to Mac, either wirelessly or with an ethernet cable.

"VMware Fusion has been designed from the beginning to make it easy to run Windows apps like Mac apps," the company said on its official blog. "VMware Fusion 3 makes it even better with the 'Always On' Applications Menu that banishes the Windows Start menu from your Mac and let’s you find and launch Windows apps like Mac apps, even when VMware Fusion is not running. Cycle through open Windows apps with 'command', quit individual Windows applications with 'command q', and use Dock Exposé with Windows apps."

VMware Fusion 3 has a retail price of $79.99 and will be available on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Those upgrading from previous versions of the application can do so at the discounted price of $39.99. Those who bought version 2 from Oct. 1, 2009 through the end of November will qualify for a free downloadable upgrade after filling out an online form and providing proof of purchase.