updated 07:00 pm EST, Fri November 18, 2011
Native Lion full-screen mode now available
Virtualization specialists VMWare have updated VMWare Fusion to version 4.1, which resolves a number of issues from v4.0 as well as bringing in new features including native full-screen support in Lion, "smart" full screen that is aware of multiple monitors, the return of a feature where favorite virtual machines are automatically loaded when Fusion starts up, support for FileVault 2 and significant graphics performance.
The application now plays well with Lion's full-screen and spaces concepts, moving the virtual machine to a new space on a single display when made full-screen but will not move to a new space when made full screen on any display when there is more than one present. The full Mac OS X menu bar is now accessible in full screen mode under both Snow Leopard and Lion (after a short delay), and a re-designed minibar is still available. The Lion full-screen shortcut (cmd-control-F) is also now supported.
Users requested the return of a feature removed in v4.0 that allowed a virtual machine to be automatically powered on whenever VMWare Fusion starts up, and the company has also dramatically improved graphics performance under Internet Explorer 9 by leveraging hardware-accelerated graphics, thus making animations and other graphics up to six times faster than in v4. Also improved are renderings in Solidworks 2012, startup time for Windows 7 virtual machines, and overall improved graphics, screen resizing speed and animations in Mac OS X 10.7.2 as well as full screen mode, unity mode, library and snapshots.
The new v4.1 also improves OS X Lion virtual machine support, including smoother mousing and support for FileVault 2 (using 10.7.2 or later). The company recommends that FileVault not be used unless users are running 10.7.2 or later. The update also improves VMWare Tools ability to enable or disable sleep on older versions of OS X virtual machines.
Among the bugs fixed in v4.1 is an intermittent problem causing "error 4" when a new USB device is plugged in or when a USB device is attached via a Thunderbolt display, as well as an intermittent problem installing Lion from physical media or when using the Migration Assistant feature in 10.7.2. The update also fixes spurious activation messages when using a Boot Camp virtual machine, an issue when installing Ubuntu 11.10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7, a graphics issue on some non-English systems and one on some Mac Pros with very large amounts of RAM (32GB or more) as well as improving compatibility of shared folders with many applications and improving support for resizing NTFS-formatted disks.
The update is free for all v4 users. VMWare cautions that users of McAfee VirusScan for Mac must exclude the virtual machines from any scan in order to avoid corrupting virtual hard disks.