I’ve mentioned VMware Player here a lot in the past and always with the caveat that while it is great to run virtual machines, it can’t create them (without hacks). After all, the name is “Player” right?
That all changed when version 3 of Player was released last month.
Here’s section of the Player “home” screen. Can you spot the crazy new feature?
Top option there is Create!
Not only does it offer a create option, it even has a wizard called “Easy Install” that can dramatically streamline the create process. For instance, in this image I’m starting a new install and pointed it at my Windows Server 2008 iso:
When I click “Next” it definitely gets easy:
Fill in a few fields, click “Next” and tell VMware Player where to put the machine files. Turn it loose and you don’t touch it again until the machine is ready for a logon.
This is great for “parity” with the competition (like VirtualBox) but I can’t deny that I’m a little miffed. I just bought VMware Workstation mainly to streamline the creation process… According to the FAQ, there’s not much extra in Workstation that I currently need:
Do I need another VMware product to use VMware Player? No. VMware Player enables you to create and run virtual machines. However, if you need to leverage powerful developer-centric features such as Teams, multiple Snapshots and Clones, or Virtual Rights Management features for end-point security, you will need to upgrade to VMware Workstation.
Ah well. Live and learn, right?
But wait, there’s more!
A closer look at the release notes shows something interesting for the Windows 7 users:
Windows XP Mode Compatible — Import a Windows XP Mode virtual machine using VMware Player 3.0 and run the virtual machine without being prompted to enter a Windows XP license key. VMware Player enables the Windows XP Mode virtual machine to take advantage of more than one processor, render high-end graphics, integrate seamlessly with Unity, and transfer files easily with drag and drop, and shared folders. VMware Player also has the ability to run concurrently with Windows XP Mode.
Yeah, remember when i tried to convert a free Virtual PC image to VMware? It was virtually ugly. Perhaps VMware users have an easy way to use the free and Microsoft provided Internet Explorer App Compat images without having to install yet another virtual machine environment?
Fascinating. I may have to give that a shot soon.
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