The software lets Linux, Windows, Solaris and NetWare operating systems run in compartments called virtual machines on Apple systems, a feature handy for using software not available on Apple machines or for programmers or testers who need to use multiple products.
The final version of the software will ship in the summer, at which point VMware will announce prices, the company said. The beta version is freely downloadable from the EMC subsidiary's Web site.
Adobe Systems, whose design software is used on Apple and Windows machines, is one company trying out Fusion. "My team maintains a vast library of VMware virtual machine images for developing and testing our software products, and because many of the engineers involved are Mac users, the ability to leverage our existing library was a compelling reason to evaluate the product," said Blake Garner, an Adobe lab systems engineer, in a statement.