Are VMware Workstation & Fusion Dead?

There’s lots of bad news coming out of VMware lately. The kings of enterprise virtualization (by percentage of incumbent business only) have clung to the past, anticipating the private cloud was the only way forward, and did too little/too late with public cloud. Meanwhile Amazon, Google, and Microsoft attacked on both sides; Amazon with AWS on public cloud, Google to some extent (I reckon it’s overblown) with Apps, and Microsoft on all sides with Hyper-V, WAPack, System Center, Office 356/etc, and Azure.

The first cracks have appeared with some lesser products in the VMware portfolio – VMware made redundant the entire US-base development staff of Fusion and Workstation. To keeps sales going, VMware said:

VMware continues to offer and support all of our End-User Computing portfolio offerings …

I work in the channel (how software gets from manufacturer to reseller). I know that line. I know it very well. It’s what companies like Microsoft, VMware, etc say to keep sales going after a decision has been made to stop development of a product, and long before they announce that it is dead. They just want what little revenue there is to keep coming in. When you poke, you’ll be told something like “we continue to sell and support X”. You can hear the crickets and tumbleweeds roll when you ask about development and future versions.

It appears that vCloud Air, the public/private cloud program, was also hit with layoffs.

Meanwhile, you can:

  • Use the free/awful VirtualBox by Oracle.
  • Enable Client Hyper-V in the Pro editions of Windows 8, 8.1, or 10.
  • Use the free and fully functional Hyper-V Server on some “server”
  • Use trial/MSDN or Open/CSP accounts in Azure

In other news, Microsoft has launched the public preview of the Azure that you can download, with Microsoft Azure Stack.

What is it that they say about rolling stones and moss?

5 thoughts on “Are VMware Workstation & Fusion Dead?”

  1. That’s sad news about VMware Workstation. I’ve been using it since the beginning. It has some nice features. But since Hyper-V is free with Win10 there’s an obvious reluctance to pay anything for a virtualisation product on desktops for developer/support purposes.

  2. Yeah, this is disappointing news, indeed.

    The Hyper-V Client experience has limped along for years behind Workstation. I’m running it now, on Windows 10, after spending a couple of years away from computing, and I am just shocked at how little had changed in the Hyper-V Client experience.

    The UI is unchanged and showing its extreme age and Windows 95’esque design roots (which really are the Microsoft design roots). Powershell for managing VMs is still cumbersome and there is still no support for nested VMs. Still no support for hardware acceleration of non-Windows guest 2D or 3D UI graphics. There is no joy from using it. I could be mucking around with the plumbing behind the toilet.

    There is just so much I cannot do with Hyper-V and I’m tired of Microsoft deliberately not stepping up to the plate on this. VMWare just showed them the door, year after year.

    Microsoft appears to be doing what it always does: making cool technologies for enterprise plumbing but forgetting about a huge differentiator – UI and UX. From what I saw, VMWare got the UI and UX stuff right as well.

    Now we are left with Hyper-V Client. Maybe the Hosted UI team can get a job with Microsoft to improve the Hyper-V experience 😉 We can only hope.

  3. Hi Aidan,

    Unfortunately, Type-1 hypervisors running on non-Microsoft OSes, like VMware, Linux, Solaris, MacOS (Parallels), are not supported. Only Windows Server 2016 (Build 10565 or newer) can nest VMs inside a Hyper-V host… and only within significant limitations.

    I don’t know how long it will be until we can experience true flexibility to run something like GNS3-VM inside Hyper-V on a Linux guest. They currently recommend Workstation 12 Pro.

    I think Microsoft have a great opportunity, in the next month or so, to roll out a whole new Hyper-V Client experience in the wake of VMware vacating the desktop VM market.

    Releasing true App and OS level Container technologies for Hyper-V Client and Hyper-V Server could radically improve the DevOps/Infrastructure experience and change how we architect our virtual enterprise data center.

    Containers within Hyper-V on Windows 10 would likely transform the desktop into an extension of the Azure private/public cloud space. I dunno. Either way, Hyper-V Client needs an overhaul to become the darling of Windows 10 virtualisation. Better if it was sooner rather than later.

    1. Desktop installed VMs are rapidly becoming old technology. I develop in Azure now which is so flexible. I work from three locations and benefit from the same development environment from all three. It moves with me. Flexibility is key.

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