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VMware Workstation 6 Beta Begins

Virtualization vendor VMware announced Thursday it is shipping the public beta version of its Workstation 6.0 product.

Among the new features coming in version 6 are support for running Windows Vista either as a host or guest operating system, support for USB 2.0 devices, and multiple monitor display.

VMware Workstation lets a user run more than one desktop operating system and its applications concurrently on the same hardware, with each system and app appearing to have the exclusive use of the underlying hardware. The product’s aim is to streamline software testing, deployment and management for systems administrators and developers.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware shipped its last major update -- version 5.5 -- of Workstation a little over a year ago.

Other new features include a "headless" mode that enables virtual machines (VMs) to run in the background without the Workstation user interface, and the addition of an integrated virtual debugger that lets developers debug programs in a VM directly from Visual Studio and Eclipse. Also, new automation APIs let developers write scripts and programs to automate VM testing.

The company announced that customers who purchase VMware Workstation 5.5 now will receive a free upgrade to Workstation 6.0 when it ships later this year. A company spokesperson declined to give a timeframe for final release of the update.

The beta of VMware Workstation 6.0 can be downloaded here.

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.

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