Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

It’s time to consider virtual machines: VMware’s Fusion Pro and Workstation Pro

Coding on a Mac using virtual machines via VMWare Fusion Pro.

This content was produced in partnership with VMware.

For the average person, virtual machines (VMs) can seem quite complex. In reality, they’re simple in terms of how they work and the applications they’re used for. They create a virtual environment for running entire operating systems — like Windows — and exclusive applications, all contained in a virtual sandbox that is securely isolated from the physical computer. Think of it as having a totally new computer except it’s inside the computer you already have. Just like with physical computers, there are a lot of useful things you can do with VMs too, like running Windows or Linux apps on a Mac, for instance. Some more examples include handling potential malware or downloading packages safely, cloning systems as a backup or testing ground, and even developing small applications for systems you don’t have access to. We’ve barely touched upon most things you can do with a VM, however, especially a capable one. Developers, engineers, and IT admins have been using virtual machines for years.

There are many VM solutions out there, chief among them are VMware’s platforms, including Fusion Pro and Workstation Pro. In fact, VMware’s offerings are some of the best for running multiple operating systems and environments from a single computer. We’ll get to why that is in a bit, but for now, the big takeaway is that virtual machines are incredibly useful for all kinds of users, not just enterprise-level professionals and tech savants.

VMware’s solutions provide seamless virtual environments

Typically, when you want to install another operating system on your computer you use a method called dual-booting.This involves figuratively splitting your computer in two, rebooting to use one operating system or the other. It’s useful because you can have both instances, while keeping them separate, but that also comes with a series of inconveniences. To swap platforms in the middle of work, you have to reboot your computer entirely so it’s not easy to share files — sometimes it’s impossible — or work on the same projects. With VMware’s platforms, you can run them all from one single OS, without ever rebooting. Moreover, you can share files, and swap between instances, and applications, seamlessly. To put it into perspective, if you’re running a Windows application in Fusion Pro on a Mac you can swap between the platforms at will.

What else can they do? In Fusion Pro’s case, users can access more advanced features you’d see in a native installation, like running a network simulation for testing latency, accessing full or linked clones to instantly duplicate VMs, and remote connectivity to enterprise vSphere and ESXi environments, so it’s easy to create more complex virtual environments as needed.

In other words, it’s a highly capable testing or virtual environment that doesn’t lose functionality and actually opens up more opportunities, especially for developers, engineers, and IT pros.

VMware Fusion Pro vs. Workstation Pro: What’s the difference?

Developers working on computers of multiple platforms with VMWare.

There are a few minor differences, of course, but the most important thing to note is that Fusion Pro is designed for macOS, while Workstation Pro is meant for Windows and Linux users. While Fusion Pro is aimed at running Windows on Mac, and Workstation is targeting more IT-centric use cases, at the end of the day, each app enables you to run multiple operating systems from a single PC or Mac.

Choosing the right VM tool depends on which operating system or platform your main computer is using. If you have a Mac you’ll want to go with Fusion Pro, the latest being . If you have a Windows or Linux PC, you’ll want to spring for Workstation Pro, and the latest version of that is .

VMware does offer a few additional solutions, including free offerings for folks who intend to use them for ‘personalized use’ as opposed to a work environment. is a free virtualization tool and sandbox that allows users to run multiple operating systems on Linux or Windows PCs, while is similar, but for Mac systems.

VMware Workstation 17 Pro

Meant for running multiple operating systems on a single Windows or Linux PC, Workstation 17 Pro supports a range of guest operating systems including Linux, Unix and BSD, Windows, and more. Through virtualization, you can run multiple systems, called “guests”, for testing, development, learning, security research, and a bevy of additional applications. Frankly, it’s one of the best and most convenient ways to run multiple VMs from a single system with seamless connectivity.

High-performance virtualization capabilities make it possible to run even resource-demanding applications and workloads, which has historically been uncommon for VMs. The latest versions of Fusion and Workstation are able to make full use of the PC or Mac hardware for guest applications to run smoothly, and even support 3D applications like CAD or gaming. In addition, the VM Isolation Boundary prevents guest applications from affecting the host operating system unless the user wants to — users receive better security and encryption overall and the virtual machine doesn’t know that it’s not a completely separate computer. This is absolutely imperative for testing and security analysis, as any damage caused by malware and malicious code won’t be carried over to the primary system.

VMware Fusion 13 Pro

Meant for Mac users, and enabling seamless swaps between platforms without reboots, Fusion Pro revolutionizes working with virtual environments for just about everyone from your average user to developers and IT admins. You can easily run Windows and Linux applications, and the advanced functionality opens up a lot of additional support options, such as network simulation solutions.

All performance is optimized for the Mac by using things like Apple Metal for incredible fast 3D graphics to DirectX 11 apps in Windows. With support for the latest Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates, Fusion 13 Pro gives users the best of both worlds. Even better, integration with VMware’s vSphere and standalone ESXi hosts means that VMs can be managed remotely across hosts and data centers by system admins. The latter is a huge benefit for distributed workforces.

Multiple operating systems, one computer

It really is that simple. VMware’s solutions are excellent for running multiple operating systems on a single computer or machine. Beyond that, the advanced support both protects the primary machine and makes performance better across the board. The security and encryption features ensure that, while testing or running potentially harmful applications in the virtual machine, nothing carries over to the main system. Furthermore, high performance and advanced functionality, like network simulation support or linked clones, increase the usability of the VM. Plus, with integrated vSphere and ESXi, IT administrators and system admins can manage a host of VMs remotely, across a distributed workforce or team.

For running virtual machines, regardless of the platform, there is always one exceptional answer, and that’s VMware.

Briley Kenney
Briley has been writing about consumer electronics and technology for over a decade. When he's not writing about deals for…
How QuickBooks Online can help your business do 2023 right
A business owner using QuickBooks Online on a tablet.

This content was produced in partnership with Intuit.
Most people's New Year's resolutions are focused on things like fitness and kicking bad habits but if you're a small business owner or are looking to start a new business in the coming months, then your resolutions are more likely to include your entrepreneurial goals for 2023. One of the most important and challenging aspects of running any business, large or small, is bookkeeping, and QuickBooks Online is the surest way to keep your books in order and start your business off right for the new year ahead. Right now, you can enjoy 50% off your first three months when you sign up for or .

Whether you're a new entrepreneur who's fresh to the game or you have some experience managing a business, you're likely already aware that starting and running a company is no easy task. At the core of running a business is managing its finances. The goal of a business is to generate a profit, after all, and that means keeping tabs on every cent coming in and going out. QuickBooks Online streamlines the process by automating much of your bookkeeping for you.
How QuickBooks works for you, and your business
You can sync QuickBooks Online with all of your financial accounts (banking, credit, payment processors, etc.), and QuickBooks will automatically track all of your outgoing expenses and incoming payments for you. You can easily see all activity anytime, anywhere -- including on mobile devices thanks to the QuickBooks app -- and get up-to-date readouts on products that are in stock and on order if your business is one that handles shipping and inventory. This bird's eye view of your business' finances helps you to make smarter decisions based on real-time data. QuickBooks Online also makes it easy to set up recurring payments and invoices so you can make sure you're paying bills and getting paid on time.

Read more
Semrush Free Trial: Try the advanced online marketing tool
how to clean up your keywords and refresh seo strategy semrush logo feature image large

It takes a lot to run a business, let alone start one. There is so much more to establishing an online business than just registering a domain, making a website -- even with a Wix free trial -- and calling it a day. Potential customers must be made aware that your business exists, and for that to happen in the digital age, you need to make use of modern online marketing tools. That's a broad field, though, encompassing keyword research, search engine optimization, data analytics, and other elements that can be pretty technical (not to mention intimidating) to the uninitiated. Enter Semrush, one of the best online marketing suites that makes all that stuff easy -- but it's not free. Maybe you want to give it a try before signing up for a premium subscription? If that's the case and you are looking for a Semrush free trial, then you're in luck. Read on. We have all the details for you, below.

Is there a Semrush free trial?

Read more
No W-2s? 2023 is the year of QuickBooks Online
Intuit helping construction business

This content was produced in partnership with Intuit.
For the average employed person, tax season is a relative breeze. Pop in some W-2 information and watch the refunds accumulate. At least that's what it seems like from the outside, for the increasing number of us who make money via freelancing, side hustles, and small businesses. For us, tax season can be a real headache and the endless forms for dozens of income streams can feel like a minefield.

What's worse is that guidance has never been so terrible. Established businesses have tax-prep procedures built up over the years and the resources to hire teams to get the nasty bits done, while millennials – and our younger, Gen Z friends – feel left in the dust. Doing a little Google Sheets data entry and praying that PayPal won't make any mistakes with their new reporting requirement is rough enough. Trying to put this information into unfeeling, computerized boxes that don't always match 1-to-1 with what you are wanting is enough to warrant full-on panic.

Read more