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VMware Player Runs Virtual Machines For Free

What a smart commercial move. It's reminiscent of the strategy Adobe used when distributing the Adobe Reader for free as an internet download.  Of course, it's now well-established as a scenario for acquisition and use of open source software. 

When reading the trade press, I get the impression that VMware has only a few more months before the open source Xen hypervisor and XenSource (the commercial entity supporting Xen) start making serious in-roads into the VM space.  It's definitely important for VMware to stake out territory.

Link: InformationWeek > News > VMware Player Runs Virtual Machines For Free > October 21, 2005.

VMware this week released a free utility that lets users run pre-created virtual machines on Linux or Windows PCs, giving companies the ability to distribute beta software, custom applications, or special environments to workers or customers who don't use VMware's more expensive desktop or server products.

The VMware Player can run virtual machines built with VMware Workstation, GSX Server, or ESX Server, and also supports Microsoft's virtual machines and disk formats created with Symantec LiveState Recovery.

VMware's pitching the player as a way for users to run pre-configured environments quickly, without having to install a new operating system, or even new applications themselves.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, which was acquired by EMC in early 2004, has also posted several ready-to-go virtual machines that can be downloaded and run with the player. Companies such as Novell, Red Hat, IBM, and Oracle have stocked the download center with virtual machines touting their products. ...

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