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Free VMWare Player 3 can now create virtual machines

VirtualBox has always enjoyed one key advantage over VMWare: it's free. Sure, the VMWare Player is also free -- but all it can do is boot virtual machines which have been previously by another app.

Rather, that's all it could do until now. VMWare Player version 3 has hit the release candidate stage and is available for public download, and guess what? It's now got the ability to create virtual machines. That's pretty amazing news for virtualization hobbyists like myself.

Apart from the added VM creation chops, Player v3 also offers OpenGL support in guest machines, ALSA support on Linux guests, ThinPrint powered printing, Windows 7 support, and multiple monitor support.

And yes, it even supports Aero Glass in Vista and WIndows 7 just like its big brother.

Another great addition is the easy install wizard, which makes setting up popular operating systems on a new guest machine ridiculously easy. That is, when it works. The wizard should create a floppy configuration file which Ubuntu reads during the install process. When I tested with the Karmic Koala beta, though, Ubuntu's installer wouldn't recognize the floppy image and crapped out.

A regular install, on the other hand, worked just fine and completed in roughly the same amount of time as it took under VIrtualBox -- if not slightly less.

The download is free, weighs in at about 90Mb, and you'll need to have a registered account with VMWare to get access to the downloads.

Tags: freeware, virtual-machine, virtualbox, virtualization, vm, vmware-player