Last last week, VMware released Fusion 4.1, an update to its popular virtualization software that adds many improvements and bug fixes. The biggest improvement is the applications ability to run older versions of Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard. It has been known for some time that Fusion can support Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard, but Apple’s licensing actually prohibits this. Apple changed the Mac OS X licensing terms with the release of Mac OS X Lion. The new software license allows users to install and use virtual machines running the client or server version of Lion on their Mac. It doesn’t mention anything about older versions of Mac OS X, so it is assumed you still aren’t allowed to run either of them in a virtual machine. Apparently VMWare is leaving the decision whether or not they virtualize either of the older versions of Mac OS X to the user. If a user tries to install Leopard or Snow Leopard in Fusion 4.1, they will be prompted with a dialog that asks, “Verify that the operating system is license to run in a virtual machine. ” If you select Continue, then Fusion will go ahead with the installation of the operating system, leaving the decision to go ahead entirely in the user’s hands.
Check out the release notes for this must-have upgrade if you are interested in testing applications on older versions of Mac OS X, or if you just want to use applications that need Power-PC Rosetta support. It remains to be seen if Apple will react to this by forcing VMWare to block installation of these older versions of Mac OS X, because being able to install them would benefit developers and end-users alike. [via MacWorld]