VMware Communities
Mikero
Community Manager
Community Manager

Doing a report on the Tech Preview to the brass... Anything you'd like to make sure they hear?

Like the subject says, I'll be doing something of a report to some of the brass about how it's going, but I wanted to extend the opportunity for folks to call out how we've done with this year's TP.

Reading the discussions here, testing it internally and listening to folks on the site-formerly-known-as-the-bird-app, I think we've got a good handle on how things are going, but I wanted to make sure folks had a tangible avenue to share both grievance and praise where due.

I'll take quotes from this thread and share directly with the team!

 

-
Michael Roy - Product Marketing Engineer: VCF
10 Replies
Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

In general, the team has done well, but... you've not caught up to Parallels.

The good:

  • The copy/paste/drag/drop (and shared folders on Linux) is wicked fast!
  • The host tools support for Windows 11 ARM is moving in the right direction. Copy/paste/drag/drop, Suspend/resume, soft power ops and clock sync seem to work fine.
  • The 3D acceleration is a welcome addition. Wish it were DX12, though.
  • Your comment in the demo video about these features being available in an update to Fusion 13 is the right decision to make for your customers.
  • It's been very stable for me, but that doesn't appear to be the case for everyone.
  • Hopefully you continue to offer perpetual licenses. Subscriptions mainly are a benefit to corporations. Individuals hate subscriptions. 

The "not so good":

  • Shared folders and printers not available yet. I know you're working on them, but it's disappointing not to see them in the TP. It would have given us a chance to shake them out before GA, now it looks like GA will be a beta test of those features.
  • Lingering bugs from Fusion 13 haven't been fixed. 
    • The incessant "Background items added" notifications when Fusion starts under Ventura.
    • Fusion on Apple Silicon creates VMs that can't be booted on ARM if you use Intel OS installation media. And dragging an OpenSUSE Leap arm64 ISO to create a new VM builds a broken config thinking it has Intel media.
    • More informative error messages for the dreaded Transport (VMDB) -14 error Pipe connection broken. There is little information for anyone other than a technician to understand what went wrong and how to fix problems. 
    • There are others.
  • OVF import/export for ARM, as well as Parallels import. still aren't there.  It's a shame your enhancements in this area are Intel-only.
  • There has to be a way for Fusion to obtain Windows 11 ARM media from Microsoft as part of the product. Depending on a community-developed script should not continue for a commercial product.
  • Fusion needs to be a certified solution with Microsoft for Windows 11 ARM at GA. That should be a minimum viable product spec for this release given VMware is over 2 years late for the same support that Parallels has. And it will hopefully allow Windows 11 ARM VMs to be able to be registered for the Windows Insider Program.
  • The encryption conversion to XTS is problematic for some. That needs to be fixed before GA.
  • The tools upgrade process for Windows 11 ARM in existing VMs that have the Fusion 13 versions also seems problematic. Those issues need to be fixed before GA. 
  • There also appeasr to be instability in Windows 11 3D support. The team seems to be aware of them, but they also need to be addressed before GA. People expect to be able to play games, and having the Windows 3D drivers rock solid for gaming should be a priority. Anecdotally, Parallels seems to beat you hands-down in this.
  • The lack of macOS Apple Silicon virtualization is disappointing. Yes, Parallels puts lipstick on the pig by bolting Apple's lightweight virtualization in their product. It's ugly and incompatible with the rest of what they provide, but they do implement it. . 
- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
yfx01
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I hope Suspend/resume and creating snapshots can be faster. Now these operations are very slow.

0 Kudos
ColoradoMarmot
Champion
Champion

Thanks for the opportunity!

Overall, there's solid progress - enough that I see a path to retiring my parallels license and returning to Fusion full time. 

Initial 3d Acceleration is good to have, though there is some (as expected) troubleshooting to work through.  The team has been really responsive as we raise issues, which is greatly appreciated.

Clipboard integration is wonderful to have back, and drag/drop performance (and shared folder performance on Linux) are nothing short of amazing.  Lack of shared folders was honestly disappointing, but the team made the right call on prioritization, and it was much better to have released the TP than hold for shared folder support.  Still would like to see that feature accelerated for inclusion before GA (hint to management - give Michael and team more staff!)

User experience is still behind the competition, both for installing windows, and graphics performance.  Not sure if there's a way to integrate the process to get the ISO the way Parallels did, but if there is, that would be a huge improvement.  3D Graphics are good, but there are gaps, especially with higher texture settings in games (causes crashes).  Know the team is actively working in this area (again a shout-out to the solid communication with users).

One surprise was the appearance of issues upgrading windows 11 ARM VMs from Fusion 13 to the TP.  Significant visual artifacts in games.  Building a new VM from scratch solved it - this is the first time ever (and been using since 1.0) that an upgrade had that kind of issue.

Fixing the Airplay bug was greatly appreciated!  The background item bug is still there and really needs to be squashed.

Lack of official MacOS virtualization supportis disappointing to part of the community, but again, I think it's low priority compared to solidifying Windows support.  There is a use case for this, so if Apple's API matures, it would be worth evaluating the market to see if reactivating VMWare tools development makes sense.  If not, then there's not much reason to duplicate peer functionality with free options.  ARM only of course - ceasing development on Intel support makes total sense.

Overall?  A good solid B for the product, and an A+ for communication with the TP community.

 

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal


@ColoradoMarmot wrote:

 

Overall?  A good solid B for the product, and an A+ for communication with the TP community.

 


I'll echo the ratings. It is especially pleasing to see the developers actively participating in the TP forum. It shows me that VMware is taking this seriously and is interested in squashing these bugs before release. 

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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Newtdude
Contributor
Contributor

Just my own comments regarding ColoradoMarmot's reply above:

"User experience is still behind the competition, both for installing windows, and graphics performance. Not sure if there's a way to integrate the process to get the ISO the way Parallels did, but if there is, that would be a huge improvement."

Although I absolutely love Parallel's ease of use for the Windows ARM install, ultimately in the end I'm preferring the VMware implementation even though it's a bit more work. This comes down to the Parallels Windows install not being OOB, including things like auto login, some apps/features missing or not being OOB (e.g. I believe OneDrive or Teams was missing) versus the Vmware install being a 100% fully OOB experience.

So although I'd like something less time intensive to install, I'm willing to jump through the technical hoops to get something that is fully OOB. But mind you, if you're able to automate the install and also keep things OOB, then I'd be thrilled. Just my own two cents.

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ColoradoMarmot
Champion
Champion

Fair, I was speaking more to just getting the ISO.  I actively do not like the system where parallels takes control and you don't even get a chance to set a username.

SvenGus
Expert
Expert

A better Fusion Applications Menu, perhaps…? The current one needs to be modernized (with a real dark mode support, first of all). And also nested virtualization on Apple Silicon: but this depends entirely on Apple, which sadly hasn’t yet implemented it in macOS Sonoma. Of course, there are much more urgent priorities - but maybe at a later stage, hopefully…

0 Kudos
Forest-Calm
Contributor
Contributor

Overall I appreciate that VMWare is progressing with updating Fusion. The Windows support on Apple Silicon is dramatically better. Ubuntu is ok. Mac OS virtualization is missing. Here, we rely on virtualizing MacOS for testing everything from betas to old OS versions, and we do a lot of experimenting of anything we don't wan to do on our work computers.

Several features I would really like to see:

- a passthrough for playing video or web streaming in the guest VM to prevent the host display being turned off.

- Thunderbolt support. As we move to more thunderbolt devices, this is a must have.

- Again, MacOS as a guest.

I think it would also be appreciated by the entire community and it would show more support from VMWare if updates were more frequent and included more features bringing Fusion in line with the alternative. I prefer Fusion for technical reasons in addition to several less tangible ones. More responsive updates than the basic yearly advancement would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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SvenGus
Expert
Expert

… Forgot this: maybe also an option to hide the Dock icon and show only the VMware Fusion Applications menu (as in UTM, but of course with complete features), from which you can control almost everything…? Another UI glitch that maybe should be fixed is the title bar of the VM window: currently, it doesn’t seem to comply with the “new” Big Sur+ metaphor, where the title should be at the beginning, towards the left (thus avoiding it to move and eventually even become more or less displaced towards the far right: see also the image below, taken from the web)…

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rshuston
Contributor
Contributor

Hello,

I'm probably late to the party in this thread, but please convey to "the brass" that they should keep the current licensing model for VMware. Parallels is horrible with their subscription model. If you stop paying, the software stops working. I used to be a Parallels customer until they took the advanced features that I used to use and put them in the subscription tier. In comparison, VMware has a good tiered licensing plan for VMware Fusion that does not rely on a subscription, and I really like that. They don't hold me hostage in being able to access my virtual machines without an extortion fee like Parallels does.

Please don't let anyone in the boardroom think that the subscription model is a good idea. I can guarantee that you'll lose me as a customer if you go the subscription route. Yes, I always upgrade to the latest version when it comes out, but it's because I choose to, not because I'm forced to.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for all the hard work.