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In July 2015 the VMware Workstation team announced the public access to the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2015 that has now officially becomed VMware Workstation 12.

There are a lot of news related to this new version, but one is about the two different editions: Workstation Pro and Workstation Player (formerly known as Player Pro). This split partially match the same on Fusion where there are two different editions.

In short, the new features are:

  • New OS Support including Windows 10, but also Ubuntu 15.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1, Fedora 22
  • As a host OS is now supported ONLY a 64-bit OS (Windows OR Linux)
  • DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3 Support
  • Ready for High Resolution Displays to support high resolution 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) displays for Desktops and QHD+ (3200×1800) displays used in laptops and x86 tablets
  • Ready for the Latest Hardware to take advantage of the latest Intel based tablets with Workstation virtual tablets sensors
  • Enhanced Connectivity to takes advantage of the latest hardware supporting HD audio with 7.1 surround sound, USB 3.0, and Bluetooth devices making it easy to get your new webcam, headset, or printer connected in a virtual machine
  • Performance Improvements for encrypted VM Suspend, Resume, and Snapshot
  • IPv6-to-IPv4 Network Address Translation (6to4 and 4to6)
  • User Interface with tear away tabs (you can create a whole new Workstation instance when you need to work with multiple virtual machines)
  • More integration with vSphere and vCloud Air
  • Expiring Virtual Machines

The last two from my point of view are the most important: managing (partially) a vCenter Server (or also a single host) is pretty nice and useful if you don’t have the vSphere Client (there is the vSphere Web Client, but cannot be used on a single host and anyway Flash is becoming a huge limitation).

For vCloud Air the most important feature is the ability to move VM from Workstation to vCloud Air and vice-versa! This is very useful and it’s also enough smart to understand which VM you can move and which not (for example a virtual ESXi cannot be moved to vCloud Air).

And the expiring VM is something perfect for labs, combined with the improvements in snapshots (and auto-snapshots) and also in linked clones.

This new version follow a rapid release rate of the product (one per year, in the last years):

  • Workstation 11.0 – Released on August 24, 2015
  • Workstation 11.0 – Released on December 3, 2014
  • Workstation 10.0 – Released on September 3, 2013
  • Workstation 9.0 – Released on August 23, 2012
  • Workstation 8.0 – Released on September 14, 2011
  • Workstation 7.0 – Released on October 26, 2009
  • Workstation 6.0 – Released on May 9, 2007

For a products comparison between different versions or the different v12 editions see this page.

Funny that in the past editions the Workstation version has matched the virtual hardware version of the vSphere series, now there a version 12 that does not have real equivalent with a vSphere version (vSphere 6.0 support up to version 11 included). Maybe a sign for a new vSphere release?


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.