VMware Fusion 6

The back and forth has been going on for years: last week, Parallels announced the newest version of its Windows-emulating software Parallels, and now here’s VMware with Fusion 6 ($60). Like its competition, this software allows you to run multiple operating systems on OS X at the same time, including newly-added support for Mavericks and Windows 8.1. If you’re already running a 4.x or 5.x version, the upgrade is $10 less.

VMware claims that over 50 new features have been added to the latest edition of Fusion, including generic upgrades such as “near-native performance” of Windows apps. It also takes advantage of the hardware in newer Macs, including USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and Retina display support. The virtual machine installer has been totally redesigned, now making it even easier to load up Windows from a disc, or bring it over from an existing PC.

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