2005/07/14 VMware Workstation - a chance for hobby OSes?
VMware Workstation 5 is a sub $200.00 virtualization product for Linux or Windows (and who knows, maybe Mac OS X after it moves to Intel). This isn't a review; suffice it to say that it's a good product, reasonably priced, and does the job well.
Unfortunately, not all OSes will run under it. Sometimes there are work arounds, but not always, and the problem is almost always stupidity on the part of the OS creators. The major stupidity is not that they made some silly assumption about hardware that breaks this, but simply that they neglected to test against VMware. Vmware is quite popular, and at this pricing level is only likely to become more so. People use it; people like it, and it's not just for Uber-Geeks. If you have an alternate OS, whether it be SCO Unix, a Linux distro spinoff, some BSD port or a hobby os, you are an idiot if you haven't made certain that it can be installed under VMware.
If I have Vmware, which lets me easily install and run other OSes, and I have fast internet, and lots of vm and vdisk, and you write something cool in YourVeryOwnOS (YVOO), I'll download the whole thing. All it has to be is quick and easy.. and I don't necessarily even care about the neato features that made YVOO appealing to you, as long as the app you wrote for it does something I want or need. But if YVOO does have cool features, I might notice them now. I can flat out guarantee that if I have to put up new hardware to see your app in YVOO, I'll never do it.
OSnews has an editorial saying that New Operating Systems Won't Stand A Chance. Virtualization is one reason why some of them might.
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