MACWORLD - VMware for Macs may have limited appeal

About 70,000 people have registered for a free download of VMware's Macintosh virtualization software.

VMware reports strong initial interest in its virtualization software designed to run on the Mac computer platform, but skeptics doubt it will improve Apple's share of the enterprise market.

About 70,000 people registered for a free download of the software prior to the release of the beta version Dec. 21 and since then, about half of them have proceeded with the download, said Srinivas Krishnamurti, director of product management and market development for VMware.

VMware controls the majority of the market for virtualization software in the x86 server market, but it has never run on a Mac because of Apple Computer Inc.'s reliance on the IBM PowerPC chip platform for its computers. With the conversion of Apple to Intel Corp. processors, that barrier is removed, Krishnamurti said.

VMware software makes it possible for a Mac user to run Windows or Linux-based software on the same machine.

This should appeal to businesses that have some Macs in their IT infrastructure but also rely on Windows programs, such as the

Outlook e-mail program, that don't run on a Mac.

"There are enterprises that buy a PC for their Mac users so they end up running two machines on each desk," Krishnamurti said. "Now they don't have to buy that extra hardware."

If Macs can run Windows or Linux and the Intel processors are faster than the PowerPC processors Apple used previously, Apple may be able to sell more Macs into the enterprise market, said Schoun Regan, chief executive officer of, a company that provides training for Mac users. Regan will be one of the instructors during the MacIT Conference that coincides with the Macworld Conference & Expo Jan. 8 to 12 in San Francisco.

But VMware isn't the only virtualization option for Macs, Regan said. Parallels Inc. already sells a virtualization product for US$80 per Mac computer, plus US$7 for service, and has been selling to the Mac market for about a year.

Although Parallels has first-mover advantage in the market, VMware's dominance in the Windows market may overcome Parallels' lead, said Mike Murray, founder of, a San Francisco-based Web-based business for IT career planning.

Although the all-Apple IT infrastructure of his tiny startup consists only of two desktop computers, two notebooks and a file server, he eagerly anticipated the VMware beta, regularly checking VMware's site for the download.

While a Mac devotee, Murray occasionally needs to run Windows programs. "As much as I am a fan of the Mac, it's still a Windows world."

Enterprises much larger than Episteme are using virtualization to control IT spending by making more efficient use of their hardware.

Virtualization may make it easier to incorporate Macs into a Windows world, but it still may not improve Apple's share of the enterprise market, said Mark Margevicius, an analyst with Gartner.

Although Apple remains strong in graphic design, publishing and making animated Hollywood movies, Margevicius said, Apple still hasn't aggressively pursued the enterprise market.

"That's still more of a vertical play for them," he said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?