HomeWinBuzzer NewsVMware Makes Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro Free for Personal Use

VMware Makes Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro Free for Personal Use


has changed its licensing model, making its Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro desktop hypervisor products available for free personal use. The company, now under Broadcom's ownership, announced that these Pro applications will be accessible under two licensing models: “Free Personal Use” and “Paid Commercial Use” for organizations.

Product Availability and Functionality

Workstation Pro is designed for PC users operating on Windows or Linux, while Fusion Pro caters to Mac systems with either Intel CPUs or Apple's proprietary . Both products allow users to create virtual machines on their local computers, enabling the operation of different or the creation of sandboxes for specific software applications. VMware highlights that these desktop hypervisors are often the first point of contact for users with VMware technology. These tools are also widely used for app development and testing.

Licensing and Usage

Users can determine if their needs require a commercial subscription. VMware assures that there are no functional differences between the free and paid versions, with the only visible distinction being a message indicating “This product is licensed for personal use only” on the free version. Everyday users seeking a virtual lab on their Mac, Windows, or Linux computers can do so at no cost by registering and downloading the software from the new download portal at support.broadcom.com. Organizations requiring a commercial subscription must purchase through an authorized Broadcom Advantage partner.

VMware Changes and Future Support

The update renders VMware's Workstation Player and Fusion Player products redundant, as the Pro versions now fulfill the same roles. Consequently, these products will no longer be available for purchase. However, organizations holding commercial licenses for Fusion Player 13 or Workstation Player 17 can continue using them, with support maintained until the existing end of life (EOL) and end of general support (EoGS) dates. Broadcom asserts that the licensing changes simplify the process for VMware customers, consolidating to a single SKU for commercial use licensing.
Additionally, Broadcom has partnered with Digital River, an e-commerce company, to support customers without pre-existing commercial accounts. The VMware Desktop Hypervisor subscription is priced at $120 per year and can be purchased from the new online store, a reduction from the previous $194.99 for a perpetual license for Workstation 17 Pro.

VMware History and the Broadcom Takeover

The integration of Fusion and Workstation into Broadcom has been completed, simplifying the product group offerings and eliminating over 40 other SKUs. Workstation's heritage dates back to the first product VMware ever shipped, called “VMware 1.0,” released on May 15th, 1999. VMware continues to innovate its virtual tools, which have been instrumental in building many careers for software and IT professionals.
Concerns had arisen that Broadcom might divest or discontinue VMware's desktop hypervisor products, similar to its actions with the end-user computing (EUC) remote desktop and app virtualization portfolio.

VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion vs. Parallels, Virtualbox, and Hyper-V

There are various VMware competitors that offer a range of virtualization tools across different operating systems. Parallels Desktop is a popular choice for macOS users, known for its seamless integration with Mac features and the ability to run Windows applications in Coherence mode. It provides excellent performance and ease of use, particularly for those who need to switch between macOS and Windows frequently.
VirtualBox, an open-source solution from Oracle, is favored for its cross-platform compatibility, supporting Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris hosts. It's a cost-effective option that appeals to budget-conscious users and supports a wide range of guest operating systems. , built into /10 and Windows Server, is designed for enterprise environments. It offers robust performance, scalability, and security features, making it ideal for managing large virtual infrastructures and integrating seamlessly with other services. Each of these tools provides unique benefits, catering to various user needs and operating systems.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.