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VMware Offers Free Player

VMware is beta testing a free “player” that lets users run virtual machines and evaluate software without having to first purchase the company’s full-scale virtualization platform.

VMware is beta testing a free “player” that lets users run virtual machines and evaluate software without having to first purchase the company’s full-scale virtualization platform.

Planned for release by the end of the year, VMware Player is designed to enable users to “run, share and evaluate pre-built applications and beta software contained within virtual machines,” according to company statements.

As a free package, there are things that VMware Player won’t do, such as allowing users to create new virtual machines, or to add new hardware to existing virtual machines. But it does let anyone, including developers, testers, and other IT professionals get a feel for the technologies.

VMware Player can be used to run 32-bit and 64-bit virtual machines on either Windows or Linux PCs, and to run virtual machines shared by others. For instance, customer support and development teams could use the player to share a customer scenario encapsulated within a virtual machine, according to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company.

Alternately, it can be used for evaluating pre-built application environments, beta software or other software distributed in virtual machines. The VMware Player supports Windows, Linux, Novell Netware, Sun Solaris and FreeBSD as guest operating systems.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.