Fusion 5 has several new features designed specifically for Mountain Lion:
- Stream Windows applications using AirPlay Mirroring
- Launch Windows applications from Launchpad and from Launchpad search
- You can move between Windows to Mac with a single swipe in Mission Control
- Notification Center provides update on the status of your virtual machine(s)
On the hardware front, VMware Fusion 5 has been tuned to take advantage of fast SSDs, Retina Displays and USB 3.0. VMs are notorious battery hogs and, according to VMWare, Fusion 5 delivers up to 100 minutes of additional run-time on a single battery charge compared to Fusion 4.
Fusion 5 is faster and more efficient than ever before and VMWare has improved the performance of several key real-world use-cases that affect the productivity of our users every day.
Fusion 5 allows you to use common Apple shortcuts to control Windows applications, including a keyboard profile for Windows 8 that provides convenient access to Windows 8 functions such as the “charms” menu. It also includes user interface elements based on core Mac principles including the library (Finder) and Network Editor (System Preferences). If you want to run OS X Mountain Lion, Lion or Snow Leopard Server in a virtual machine, you can simply drag the install icon from your dock to the virtual machine wizard.
System administrators will appreciate that Fusion 5 supports pre-licensing, registration and the ability to direct users to internal helpdesk resources directing from the Help menu in the software. The Fusion 5 meta-package (mpkg) is compatible with Apple’s Remote Desktop, JAMF’s Casper Suite and most other Mac imaging solutions.
The boxed retail version of Fusion includes both a USB key and DVD in the box. The USB installer will be especially useful for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display owners that lack an optical drive.
Fusion 5 is compatible with any 64-bit capable Intel Mac (Core 2 Duo, Xeon, i3, i5, i7 processors) with a minimum of 2GB of RAM (4GB or more recommended). In addtion to Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) Fusion 5 is also compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.7 (Snow Leopard) and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).
I’ve been using Fusion 5 all day on a MacBook Air 13-inch (running Windows 7) with the newly released OS X 10.8.1 without issue.