Only download this if you want to try out the new features in the forthcoming release of VMware Workstation.

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What's New

VMware Hardware Version 10 - This Technology Preview introduces hardware Version 10. Hardware versions introduce new virtual hardware functionality and new features while enabling VMware to run legacy operating systems in our virtual machines.

  • 16 vCPUs - In this Technology Preview VMware Workstation is shipping Hardware Version 10 and has enabled our users to create and run virtual machines with up to 16 virtual CPUs. Please let us know how this performs running your workloads. We have run CPU benchmarks, encryption/decryption and encoding/decoding programs to characterize the performance, but we are interested in what results you get running other applications.

    Note: Running Virtual Machines with 16 vCPUs requires that both your host and guest operating system support 16 logical processors. Your physical machine must have at least 8 cores with hyper-threading enabled to create and power on a VM with this configuration.

  • SSD Passthrough - Windows 8 is capable of detecting when it is being run from a solid state drive (SSD) and optimizes itself for this hardware. In this Technology Preview, Workstation can detect when the Virtual Machine Disk file is being stored on an SSD drive and pass this information to the guest operating system to enable Windows 8 to make the same optimizations when it is running in a virtual machine.

Many additional changes have been made to this Hardware Version including some performance improvements, power savings and compatibility with new processors and we have other virtual hardware enhancements coming.... but for now, we would like you to put this Hardware Version and the latest VMware virtualization platform through its paces to help us make it production ready.

Expiring Virtual Machines - VMware has enhanced the capabilities of Restricted Virtual Machines to include the ability to expire the virtual machine on a certain date at midnight UTC time (for now). The intent of this feature is to enable customers to create virtual machines to be shared with employees, students, customers, contractors etc. that will run until the date that that you set.

This feature establishes a secure connection to a web server at VMware.com to validate the current time and prevent users from rolling back their host clock.
We would like to add the ability for the VM creator to set the synchronization frequency and a lease period to allow users to run expiring virtual machines while offline.
Please give this feature a try and let us know how it works and if you find a way to beat the expiration logic.

New Converter - This Workstation Technology Preview includes a preview of the next version of VMware Converter. The Converter enables users to make Physical machines virtual. This version of the Converter includes support the following enhancements:
  • Guest operating system support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  • Support for EXT4 file system
  • Support for vSphere 5.1 virtual machine hardware version 9

Pre-Released OVFTool - The Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) is a virtual machine distribution format that supports sharing virtual machines between products and organizations. The VMware OVF Tool is a command-line utility that enables a user to import and export OVF packages to and from a wide variety of VMware products.
The latest pre-release version of the OVFTool is included in this Technology Preview of VMware Workstation and is used by Workstation to upload and download virtual machines to and from vSphere. The OVFTool is also used to import an .OVF file which may come in handy when importing virtual machines created using desktop virtualization software developed by Oracle.

We would appreciate your help in ensuring that the import, export, upload and download capabilities of Workstation have improved and in testing the import of VMs generated in VirtualBox.

User Interface Enhancements:
There are other small changes that have been included in this release that you may discover and we are continuing to add more features but here are a couple of items that you may come across:

Windows 8 Unity Mode Support - We are continuing to improve on how our Unity Mode user-interface works with Microsoft's "Modern UI" or the "Microsoft Design Language" (The new tile interface in Windows 8 formerly known as Metro). We have made some improvements and would like to know what you think!

Multiple Monitor Navigation - When running with 2, 3, 4 and even 5 or 6 monitors it has been frustrating to use the full screen mode in Workstation and toggle through each combination of monitors to get to the one you want. The fullscreen toolbar now has an option to choose your configuration and jump to it immediately.

Power Off Suspended Virtual Machines - I am sure that this has happened to you as often as it happens to me. You want to change the configuration of a virtual machine in your library that you use all of the time. You open up the virtual machine settings dialog and everything is greyed out because the virtual machine is currently suspended. Instead of powering on the virtual machine and waiting for it to boot up before powering it down to make the changes, the Technology Preview lets you simply power off the suspended Virtual Machine (as long as you don't care about what is in its memory).

Remote Hardware Upgrade - When working with virtual machines running remotely on vSphere or on another instance of Workstation, you can now remotely upgrade the Hardware version.

We really appreciate your help in testing this software. Please post all of your feedback in the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2013 communities forum. We will try to answer any questions that you have and will investigate any issues that you find.