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VMware introduces Fusion 2 beta 2

One of the main improvements in Fusion beta 2 is in Unity 2.0. Unity allows you to run Windows without the need to show the Windows desktop; It is a direct way to access the applications of that operating system without having to leave the Mac environment.

In addition to allowing application sharing between the Mac and virtual machines, Unity 2.0 also includes the Synchronized Folder feature. The folders on the Mac (Desktop, Documents, Music, and Pictures) will correspond to the corresponding folders on Windows (Desktop, My Documents, My Music, and My Pictures).

Unity also includes keyboard and mouse mapping, as well as the ability to cut and paste up to a total of 4 MB, including stylish text.

To help protect virtual machines, VMware now includes an automatic “snapshot” feature. This means that the application will take and save a snapshot of the state for the virtual machine that is currently in use, thus allowing easy restoration of a working copy in the event of a problem. Said status captures can be made every half hour, every hour or daily, in addition to being able to select how many of these captures to keep.

Fusion beta 2 now includes support for high definition 1080p video in Windows XP or Windows Vista. 3-D support has also been improved, as well as the ability to activate and exit full-screen mode while playing games.

In Mac OS X 10.5 it is possible to mount the virtual disk of a Windows virtual machine by using VMDKMounter. This capability provides access to files without the need for the virtual machine to run first.

Mac OS X 10.5 users will also appreciate the QuickLook feature included in Fusion, which allows users to browse the contents of files without having to open them first.

A feature requested by users but not present in Fusion is FireWire support. Fusion supports USB devices connected to the Mac.

Other changes from Fusion 2 beta 2 include the ability to run up to four virtual CPUs on top of a VM, the ability to run Mac OS X Server in a virtual machine, and support for the VMrun command from the command line.

When the final version is released, VMware Fusion 2 will be a free update for all users of the current version Fusion 1.0.