VMware Workstation 4 lets you easily create one or more "virtual machines" or Guests inside your Windows or Linux operating system. These OS guests allow you to do what you want, such as experimenting with alpha or beta operating systems and unstable program releases, without damaging your root OS.
Software and web developers will benefit the most from this application. They will save lots of time, being able to test their software in pre-configured environments on a single physical machine. Sales people will be able to show running client/server applications on their notebooks everywhere, even without an Internet connection. Finally, anybody can simultaneously execute two operating systems, like Windows and Linux, on a single machine, thus enjoying the best of both worlds.
VMware Workstation 4 is also great for anyone wishing to learn Linux, but not wanting to overwrite his Windows, or for people who are studying for multi-OS certifications, such as the MCSE.
The application does, however, have a few small faults. There is, for example, no reference to the Mac world, the network configuration can be hard to understand and most of all, we feel that the $299 price tag is too high. VMware should think about a "light" version with a lower price.
For students, VMware offers the Academic Edition at $139. Software producers should always remember that today's students will be the tomorrow IT responsibles.
If you are curious, you can download a 30 days trial version of VMware Workstation, both for Windows and Linux, from the VMware website at www.vmware.com .