In context: VMWare is one of the leading platforms for creating and managing virtual machines and virtualized OS, and VMWare Fusion is the software hypervisor specifically designed to run on host macOS systems. A new update announced by the Californian company is now promising to bring an almost-native Windows 11 experience to Apple Silicon machines.
Arm-based Apple Silicon chips have brought significant change in the way Mac users run their software, especially when it comes to gaming. Compatibility with traditional x86 applications must now go through the VM route, with no chance of getting native-like performances in every use case. For Arm versions of Windows 11, however, things are getting rosier thanks to the improvements recently announced by VMWare.
VMware Fusion, the VM manager specifically designed to run on the Apple M series of chips, got a new Tech Preview 2023 which brings a "significant leap forward" for the virtualization software on the macOS platform.
VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2023 "dramatically" improves virtualization of the Arm version of Windows 11 on MacOS hosts, thanks to the newly introduced support for full 3D acceleration.
Full 3D hardware acceleration provides a new level of graphics performance to the Fusion platform, VMWare said, giving users the chance to run "full DirectX 11 3D games" and applications with "stunning" speed. The guest OS interface is now much more responsive, and resolution changes can happen almost instantly thanks to autofit.
Gamers will surely welcome the new graphics improvements coming to Fusion, even though compatibility is limited to software designed to run on Arm chips. Which, in the Windows x86-centered PC gaming market, still is a very small niche. VMWare highlights how full 3D acceleration can improve the overall Windows 11 experience on Arm, for both gaming/multimedia experience and productivity tasks.
VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2023 also brings better support for VMware Tools, which are a set of services and modules released in ISO format to provide more seamless integration with guest operating systems. There's been a "dramatic" improvement here, VMWare stated, as Fusion can now deliver "the vast majority" of VMWare Tools features which were already available on the x86 version of the virtualization platform.
Other significant upgrades coming with Tech Preview 2023 include an "impossibly fast" drag-and-drop feature and clipboard sharing between Mac and Windows 11, enhanced security with bugfixes and an improved encryption scheme (XTS instead of CBC) for "maximum protection" with a reduced performance overhead. VMWare Fusion Tech Preview 2023 can be already downloaded and installed on Apple Silicon systems, VMWare said, while a "few more" improvements will come to the platform in the second half of the year.