A new version of virtualization software VMWare Fusion hit Macs this week. VMWare Fusion 11 adds a new application menu and support for the 18-core CPU configuration in the latest iMac Pro and the Core i9 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The release appears to have been closely timed with the launch of macOS Mojave, which hit this Monday. VMWare Fusion is one of the most popular virtual-machine applications for Macs; its closest direct rival is Parallels Desktop, which also released a new version preparing for Mojave last month. Parallels has many strengths, including a leg up or two on VMWare Fusion with certain features. But VMWare Fusion does offer its own advantages over the Parallels release; among other things, it has moved to using Metal as the default graphics API on the Mac. Parallels still uses the Mac’s outdated OpenGL, though the Parallels team is working on making the transition.
That transition will be necessary in the coming months or years, as Apple announced plans at WWDC 2018 to discontinue support for OpenGL. It was barely supported as it was, and OpenGL applications will still run for now. But the company made sure to tell developers of current and future apps to brace for a full transition at an as-yet-unannounced time in the future. (Ars will have a deep dive on that topic later this year.)
VMWare Fusion 11 has been updated with DirectX 10.1 compatibility with support for anti-aliasing and geometry and compute shaders. That means “games and apps which require DirectX 10.1 or which fallback to 10.1 from DirectX 11 will now run in a Windows 7, 8 or 10 virtual machine,” according to VMWare’s blog post about the update.
As for menus, we get a new application menu and a drop down on each virtual-machine window to navigate to that machine’s folders via Finder. Also included are a variety of security improvements to “mitigate against today’s latest hardware and software based threats like Spectre, Meltdown and L1TF vulnerabilities,” a new vSphere view, one-click SSH to Linux virtual machines, and expanded support and configuration options for the Touch Bar on MacBook Pros.
Listing image by VMWare