VMware Workstation 10 extends Windows 8.1 support, adds virtual tablet sensors

VMware today announces VMware Workstation 10 ($249, $119 upgrade), the latest release of its virtualization software, as well asVMware Fusion 6.0 and VMware Player 6.0.

If you’re thinking that a virtual machine is probably the best way to trial the upcoming Windows 8.1, then VMware Workstation 10 comes ready to help. The regular Easy Install feature has been updated to recognize Windows 8.1, as well as the latest Linux distributions, automating the installation process. And physical Windows 8.1 systems can now be converted into virtual machines in a few clicks.

Extended hardware options mean your virtual machines can have up to 16 virtual CPUs, 64GB of RAM, up to 8TB disks, SSD pass-through and twice as many virtual networks.

Better still (at least in theory, we’ve not tried it yet), Workstation 10 includes "the first-ever virtual accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and ambient light sensor", which means that applications running in a virtual machine can respond to feedback from their tablet sensors.

A new SATA controller and support for USB 3 streams may help your VM performance, and enterprise users will appreciate the ability to create virtual machines which will expire at a given date and time. They will automatically be suspended when the deadline is reached, and only an administrator will be able to restart them.

VMware Workstation 10 is priced at $249. If you purchased Workstation 9 (Full or Upgrade) on or after August 1st 2013, up to September 30th 2013, then you’re entitled to an electronic upgrade for free. Upgrades from Workstation 8.x and 9.x are otherwise available for $119, and of course 30 day trials are available if you’d like to check out the new release first.

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