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VMware Making Workstation, Fusion Upgrade Free

When VMware ships its new generation of desktop virtualization software next week, the upgrade will be free for many existing customers.

VMware plans a half-step incremental release of VMware Fusion and Fusion Pro, which run on Mac computers, and Workstation Player and Workstation Pro, which run on Windows and Linux. The main enhancement of the version 8.5 release of the Fusion line and the 12.5 releases for Workstation is the addition of support for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and Windows Server 2016 within virtual machines.

"We hear from our users year on year that having to pay for something as small as a minor operating system release gets a little long in the tooth year after year," said Michael Roy, VMware's product line marketing manager for Fusion, Workstation and Horizon Flex, in a telephone interview from the VMworld conference in Las Vegas this week.

The free upgrade compares to current 8.0/12.0 upgrade costs of $50 for Fusion, $80 for Fusion Pro and Workstation Player, and $150 for Workstation Pro.

VMware is also extending the upgrade offer back further than the two releases that upgrade pricing normally permits, Roy said. The free upgrade will be available for users with Fusion 4 or later and Workstation 7 or later.

Part of the reason for saving customers an upgrade fee in this release cycle is that VMware is working on a future dot-zero release with significantly more changes, Roy said.

Nonetheless, Fusion users will see more than just new Windows version support in 8.5. This version of Fusion now supports tabbed virtual machine windows and Siri integration.

Posted by Scott Bekker on August 31, 2016 at 11:31 AM