VMWare for Mac, limited appeal?

About 70,000 people have signed up for a free download of the software prior to the beta release. Since then, about half of those users have downloaded, according to Srinivas Krishnamurti, director of product and market development at VMware.

VMware controls the majority of the virtualization software market in the x86 server market, but it has never run on Macs due to the computer manufacturer’s use of IBM’s PowerPC architecture. With Apple’s conversion to Intel processors, this barrier has been removed, Krishnamurti says.

VMware software allows Mac users to run Windows or Linux-based software on the same computer.

This could arouse the interest of businesses that have some Macs in their IT infrastructure, but must also use certain typical Windows programs, such as the Outlook email client.

If Macs can run Windows or Linux and Intel processors are faster than the PowerPC processors previously used by Apple, Apple should be able to sell more Macs in the enterprise market, according to Schoun Regan Chief Executive Officer of ITinstruction.com.

But VMware is not the only virtualization option for Macs. Parallels already sells a virtualization product. Although Parallels was the first to gain the upper hand in this market, VMware’s dominance in the Windows market could surpass Parallels’ initial lead.