VMware releases VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2014 – May 2014

VMware released VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2014 – May 2014. This is a beta which VMware likes feedback on by people using the software.

Requirements:

The system requirements for this Technology Preview are mostly same with those for Workstation 10, with the following differences:

  • All 32-Bit Host Operating Systems are no longer supported
  • Windows XP 64-Bit, Windows Vista 64-Bit, Windows Server 2003 64-Bit are no longer supported as host operating system

Download the software here. The software can be used until October 15 2014. Use this key for installation: H54AA-J0L9J-08A82-0138P-ADQ4Y

The release notes are here

What’s New

New OS Support – To popularity of Windows 8 is still growing especially after the Windows 8.1 release. We have been running the Windows 8.1 Update 1 since the date it was released and continuing to improve our support for it. We would appreciate  your comments and suggestions for making it easier to run the latest Windows 8 / 8.1 versions in a virtual machine. Of course we are running the latest Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL, OpenSUSE and other Linux distros as well and we would appreciate your feedback on their performance too.

VMware Hardware Version 11 – This Technology Preview introduces hardware Version 11.  Hardware versions introduce new virtual hardware functionality and new features while enabling VMware to run legacy operating systems in our virtual machines.

CPU enablement – While this Technology Preview still supports creating and running virtual machines with up to 16 virtual CPUs, we extended the support of the latest generation of CPUs. The microarchitectures of both Intel Haswell and AMD Jaguar are fully supported, and those of Intel Broadwell and AMD Steamroller have been made to be compatible. We are interested in the feedback of creating and running virtual machines on those latest CPUs.

Virtual xHCI controller – virtual xHCI controller was added in virtual hardware version 8 and it conforms to version 0.96 of the Intel xHCI specification. In this version of virtual hardware, we updated it to be compliant with the latest version 1.0 of the specification. Better compatibility and performance of USB 3.0 devices is expected, we would love to see the results with your USB devices.

Dedicated graphics memory for guest operating system –  In order to make our customers be able to precisely control the memory allocation when there are multiple virtual machines up running, the new virtual hardware version makes the guest video memory backed by their own dedicated chunk, which could be allocated / configured by the user.

 

Graphics memory configuration – For those virtual machines with virtual hardware version 11, you can adjust the dedicated graphics memory on a per virtual machine basis. Go to Virtual Machine Settings -> Hardware -> Display, you can see the graphics memory dropdown and make adjustment there. Please note that a virtual machine could be less stable if too much memory is assigned, and on the other hand the graphics performance could drop if a very small amount of memory is assigned.

 

Windows 8 Unity mode improvements – When you run a Windows 8 / 8.1 virtual machine on a Windows 8 / 8.1 host in Unity mode, the user experience has been improved especially when you try to go to the Start screen of the host or navigate to the Start screen of the guest.

 

Boot virtual machine with EFI – As an alternative of BIOS, EFI is supported by more and more operating systems including Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and many Linux distros. This Technology Preview version allows you to create and boot the guest operating system with EFI. To do so, just simply do not power on the guest after creation, go to Virtual Machine Settings -> Options -> Advanced, check the setting “Boot with EFI instead of BIOS”, then save the setting and power on the virtual machine.

 

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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