VMware Workstation and Fusion teams let go, what could this mean

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 27 2016 (updated on Jan 31 2016) in
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  • I'm not yet sure what to think of this recent news, and I'm not alone.

    Chris Hammond

    • A Tribute to VMware Workstation, Fusion, and Hosted UI

      Workstation, Fusion, and our other products may survive in maintenance mode, or they may disappear. It’s hard to say at this point what will happen. What I can say is that no matter what happens to them, they had an amazing run, and are something every one of us can be proud of the rest of our careers.

    Ulli Hankeln

    (continuum) of VMware Community and sanbarrow.com/

    Andreas Peetz

    of VMware Front Experience - Taking server virtualization down from the clouds to real life experience...

    For me, well, I use VMware Workstation hundreds of hours per month, as my way of hosting my encrypted Windows 7 work VM:

    It's also an ESXi-to-go of sorts, allowing me to move VMs into and out of my efficient home datacenter. Heck, even back in 2007, I was doing on the road trainings that included Linux and Windows VMs, using Vista 64 bit to get me 8GB of RAM on that traveling laptop, enabling VMware Workstation to work very nicely for me, including snapshots for instant rollbacks when QA testing software:

    I do believe the unfortunate name of the (mostly free) VMware Player put it at a big disadvantage over free Oracle Virtualbox. That name, Player. Easily miscontrued as a lesser offering. A playback-only environment for VMs other folks created. Not so. Player has been able to create VMs for years now. It's the same code as VMware Workstation, just missing some of the developer-focused advanced features like snapshots.

    Workstation has also been the way to avoid some of the restrictions on vSphere Client, when editing settings of a VM with the latest (version 10 or higher) features. Or just a way to remotely view ESXi-hosted VMs, which was pretty useful for some, although the move to a web based HTML5 Embedded Host Client Fling that eventually helps VMware jettison that pesky Adobe Flash requirement is even more important.

    On the bright side, remember that VMware Workstation 12 (and Player) now support modern advancements like 4K displays and Windows 10. Also note that Microsoft will be on Windows 10 for years. So it's quite possible Workstation 12 can stay useful for years to come. Maybe this isn't a big deal.

    Then again, apparently Workstation 12 may not really support USB 3.1, which could become a bigger issue over time.

    Whatever happens, this recent story isn't great news, seeing a whole team axed, this very same year when many more Dell/EMC related changes are expected.

    Finally, there's the sentimental angle to consider.

    VMware Workstation was VMware's first product, where it all began, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware

    The first product, VMware Workstation, was delivered in May 1999, and the company entered the server market in 2001 with VMware GSX Server (hosted) and VMware ESX Server (hostless).

    Jan 31 2016 Update

    Feb 03 2016 Update


    So, a few more days has gone by, time for the dust to settle, and to get more of a sense of what this all means.

    Well, at least some of the hosted UI team is around. It would be insane if they weren't, given how important HTML5 development is at VMworld these next few years.

    I've also had the honor of talking to continuum, fabled star of the VMware Community lately, and yeah, uber-talented Ulli Hankeln is pretty upset. First tweet in nearly two years upset.


    We'll cross our fingers that at least some of the now-offshored development continues. VMware Workstation is a tool many of us use every day, especially when the clouds go away, and all we have is our laptop "island." Been in that tough spot myself, at secure customer sites I've taught at, for example.

    Darn, guess I just got myself upset over again. I'm done here, time to move ahead...

    See also at TinkerTry


    I currently work for IBM. This post, and all my posts here, reflect my own opinion, not the opinion of my employer.