VMware ships Workstation for virtualizing Windows 7

The product outperforms Windows' own Windows XP mode, according to VMware.

VMware has added support for Windows 7 and expanded the ability to handle virtual processors in Workstation 7, the new version of its platform for running multiple OSes simultaneously on a PC.

The new version of Workstation, announced Tuesday, supports the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. VMware Workstation 7 also works with features in the Windows 7 interface -- Flip 3D and Aero Peek -- to show live thumbnail pictures of a user's virtual machines.

Installing Microsoft's new OS on a virtual machine is easier than on a physical PC, according to VMware. Also, for Windows 7 users who want to keep using Windows XP, Workstation outperforms Windows 7's own Windows XP mode, it said.

Other new features include improved 3D graphics and more advanced CPU support.

Users can create virtual machines with up to four virtual processors or four virtual cores, and up to 32GB of memory per virtual machine. They can also pause a virtual machine to free up more CPU resources, according to VMware.

Additionally, VMware hasn't forgotten about developers who use Workstation. Version 7 works with the SpringSource Tools Suite and Eclipse IDE for C/C++ developer environments. Replay debugging, a technology that allows a developer to reproduce what's going on in a virtual machine, is now easier and faster, VMware said

Workstation 7 costs US$189. Users who upgrade from previous versions of the program pay US$99.

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