May 3, 2009  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

A few weeks ago I was reading a comparison between VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop. The results were interesting. I was an early adopter of Parallels Desktop. I switched after trying out VMWare Fusion because Parallels was really laggy at times. That was a long time ago, and several versions of Parallels Desktop ago. I considered trying Parallels again as my main environment because file sharing between the Windows and Mac side seems easier in Parallels. I’d rather not mirror everything because I am afraid that if something happens (virus, etc.) to Windows, it could take out my Mac data as well. It may not be likely – the nefarious types seem more interested today in turning your PC into a zombie than in destroying anything – but it’s always a good idea to be cautious with Windows.

The problem is that we frequently have to transfer documents between the Windows and Mac side. I had set up a shared folder, but it’s slow in Windows and it means several extra steps. About a week ago I was moving some documents and I said, “wouldn’t it be nice if I could just drag this off the Windows desktop and onto my Mac desktop?” As I said this, I started dragging the file to the edge of the window. If you’re a VMWare Fusion guru, you know what happened next, but it surprised the heck out of me. The icon changed to a Mac icon as I got close to the edge of the window, and I was able to drop it on the Mac desktop. I then saw a message that VMWare Fusion was copying the file.

How did I not know about this before? After discovering this feature, I checked the VMWare documentation and didn’t see any mention of it. I wonder how many other VMWare Tools features I’m missing out on. At least now using Windows has become much more pleasant (and I am no longer tempted to migrate my Windows install).

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