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VMware Player

VMware just did something really, really smart. Whoever thought of this deserves a big raise and a bonus. Here's the deal: VMware player is a freely distributable application that lets anyone run a virtual machine created by someone else. That is, you don't need to own VMware, you just download the player (Windows or Linux) and you can run the virtual machine that you got from someone else.

This opens up Windows machines to Linux apps and vice versa, and of course when Mac goes x86 next year, I expect a player for OS X won't take long to appear.

There are a bunch of virtual machines already, including a Browser Appliance that isolates your browsing to a virtual machine - simply fantastic for ultimate security. Do the same thing for email and 99% of virus problems would disappear.

This would also be great for distributing Hobby OSes.

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© Anthony Lawrence

Fri Nov 4 21:01:07 2005: 1284   anonymous

Cool but bulky and there are probably licensing issues galore.

Sat Nov 12 00:31:44 2005: 1336   anonymous

"That hole is surely going to be patched rather soon."

I wouldn't be too sure about that for a few reasons. First, the full version's feature set goes far beyond being able to create a VM: running multiple VMs at once, saving multiple sessions per VM, etc. Also, creating virtual machines for VMWare Player isn't exactly simple. You have to do a decent amount of text file tweaking and use a third-party tool to create the actual virtual disk.

Finally, I'm sure they thought about things like this when they released it. I mean, customizing your own VM is no different than some generous person buying the full version and creating a bunch of "Blank" VMs for distribution.

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