VMware backtracks on OS X Client virtualization

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On Friday, we reported that VMware Fusion 4.1 can run virtual versions of Leopard and Snow Leopard, a feature previously barred by Apples end-user license agreement. On Monday, the other shoe dropped: VMware posted a blog entry that seems to back away from that feature.

When the license verification step was added in VMware Fusion 4.1 the server edition check was omitted, the post says. We are preparing an update.

Whats not said in the blog post is more notable. The company doesnt say whether or not the omission was intentional. (Theres nothing in the post that comes across as an apology or an admission that an error was made.) Theres a suggestion that an update is forthcoming, but while the post implies that the update will replace the server check, it doesnt actually say it.

And the most obvious item left unsaid: Apples involvement. An Apple spokesperson told Macworld late Friday that the companys licensing terms for Mac OS X havent changed. It seems likely that someone from Apple had a conversation with someone from VMware about the new feature in Fusion 4.1 and suggested that something be done about it.

Whats next for Fusion? It seems likely that the way the product handles previous versions of OS X will change in a forthcoming update. Presumably version 4.1 will continue working just fine for a while, if youre inclined to keep running Leopard and Snow Leopard client editions in a virtual machine on your Mac. Its unclear whether any update might break compatibility with existing virtual machines, or just prevent users from creating new virtual machines.

In the meantime, as of this writing Fusion 4.1.0 is still available for download from VMwares website.

This story, "VMware backtracks on OS X Client virtualization" was originally published by MacCentral.

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