The news just went out. The new release of VMware Workstation 9 introduces many new features. One of the good news is better support for nested virtualization and Windows 8 support. VMware Workstation 9 can be installed on Windows 8 and to support the former Metro UI, where toggling between Metro and Desktop can be done by the Windows key and it’s the Unity mode which handles the Metro Interface.

Together with this release, for MAC users, there has been a VMware Fusion 5 release with 70 new features.

VMware Workstation 9 supports multitouch, for driving the Metro interface running in Workstation on Windows 8 tablet.

Nested Virtualization – This is a very good news for nested virtualization fans. The new VMware Workstation 9 should run the nested hypervizors more smoothly since there has been some enhancements and improvements done of   virtual Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI extensions.

Workstation 9 improves the implementation of virtual Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI extensions. This allows users to run ESX as a guest OS and run a 64-bit operating system nested in ESX using less system resources.

The Hyper-V support is only for educational purposes…-:)

Hyper-V has been added to the Workstation 9 guest operating system list. This enables customers to run Windows 8 with Hyper-V enabled, or install Hyper-V Server. This can be used for educational purposes or for building prototype Hybrid Clouds. This feature is NOT SUPPORTED and probably never will be. Microsoft does not support nesting of their hypervisor which makes it extremely difficult – if not impossible for VMware to fix issues that may occur in this configuration. For this reason, this capability has been implemented purely to see if we could do it!

Support of Windows 8 – Another cool feature is an official support for recently RTM Windows 8. VMware Workstation 9. Easy Install has been enhanced to recognize Windows 8. Workstation 9 has been enhanced to support the Windows 8 user interface (formerly known as Metro…. ).

WSX – Workstation’s new web interface allows you to access your virtual machines running in Workstation or vSphere on a tablet, smart phone, PC or any device with a modern browser. VMware Workstation web interface that enables users to access their Shared virtual machines via a web browser on a tablet, smart phone or PC without installing any additional applications or browser plug-ins. This service renders an HTML5 web page that can connect to your Workstation hosts, enumerate the available Shared virtual machines and allow you to power them on and interact with the desktop.

VMware Workstation 9

WSX isn’t supported for production environments in this release. The recommended browsers are Google Chrome 17 browser on PCs and the Apple Safari 5 browser on Mac OS hosts and iPads.

VMware Workstation 9 - Virtual Hardware version 9

Better Graphics – The enhancements include a display-only graphics driver that can render 3D in Windows 8 without hardware acceleration.

You should be able to run those graphics application faster and more precise (like AutoCAD and SolidWorks), with better rendering . Windows XP graphics driver has been improved and big changes were made to improve performance and enable more advanced graphics capabilities in the future.

VMware Player Completely Rewamped – The new Workstation 9 brins also significant improvements for VMware Player. layer user interface has been completely revamped. The user interface conforms with Windows standards, menus have been updated, the toolbar now matches Workstation in regular and full screen mode, we have added device icons, and we have made many more little improvements.

Quick switch II – There is now tabs in full screen mode in order to switch between VMs that runs in full screen mode.

VMware Workstation 9 - USB 3 supportUSB 3.0 – Now, VMware Workstation 9 has a USB 3.0 support, which enables the fastest possible transfers through uSB devices needed by flash drives, video devices or other portable storage devices. Windows and linux virtual machines are supported that contains in-box drives USB 3.0

Remoting Improvements – better experience when using VNC client or interacting with the desktop on virtual machine running on vSphere from within VMware Workstation 9.

Disk cleanup – Better management of disk space from within VMware Workstation 9. You can reclaim disk space that has been allocated to the VM but is no longer used by the guest OS. This is something that was always painful, especially if you’re running nested ESXi labs, which consume a lot of diskspace on a SSD drive. SSD drives which are never large enough… -:). Or VMs where you install and uninstall stuff often. Click to enlarge.

Downloading VMs from vSphere – now its possibly to download VMs from vSphere by dragging them from the remote ESXi host to My computer section of the Virtual Machine library.

Note that in Workstation 8 it was possibly to upload the VMs from Workstation to ESX.

VMware Workstation 9  - possibility to download your datacenter VMs to your computer.

VM restriction – Now its possible to enter additional passwords (in addition of encrypted VMs), for changing the VM settings.  This feature enables IT professionals and educational institutions to create virtual machines to be used by their employees and students that prevent these users from enabling shared folders, dragging and dropping files, attaching USB devices, and overcommitting system resources. Restricted virtual machines can be run in VMware Workstation 9, VMware Player 5, and VMware Fusion 5 on Windows, Linux or Mac PCs.

VMware Workstation 9 - possibility to restrict access to modifying configuration of encrypted VMs

When creating new VM, through the wizard, there is now the possibility to directly choose Hyper-V, or you can see on the screenshot below the possibility to select the type of vSphere hypervizor ( ESXi 4.x or 5.x)


Source: VMware