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March 29, 2020

VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1

The VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1 has been available since end of January. It is the first VMWare version which can run alongside Microsoft Hyper-V. Until now, if a user wanted to run both Hyper-V and VMWare virtual machines on the same computer, the Hypervisor must have been turned on and off, depending on if user wanted to run Hyper-V or VMWare virtual machines. I have written a tutorial about how to use both on same computer on Ten Forums: Run Hyper-V, VirtualBox and VMware on same Computer

The problem is and has been, that Hyper-V is a Type 1 Hypervisor, whereas VMWare is a Type 2. A screenshot from Wikipedia’s Hypervisor article shows the difference:

A Type 1 Hypervisor must be enabled and started before the operating system is loaded. When such a Hypervisor is enabled, Type 2 Hypervisors cannot run. Simple and understandable.

As a huge Hyper-V fan, I use it for all my Windows virtual machines. However, even I must admit that for Linux and MacOS virtual machines, VMWare is better. I find myself constantly restarting my computer, to boot with or without the Windows Hypervisor.

For a user like me, the best part of VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1 is that for the first time ever, I can now run Hyper-V and VMWare virtual machines simultaneously. In this screenshot, I am running an Android VM in Hyper-V and a Windows 10 VM in VMWare Workstation at the same time:

VMWare is run as a virtual machine in a container, something expressed quite clearly when you run it:

This, of course, makes it a bit slower than when run natively, when the Hypervisor is not enabled. In any case, this is really good news for virtualization enthusiasts.

More information and download: VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1

Personally, I will continue to restart with or without Hypervisor, simply because when run in a container, VMWare Workstation is a bit “sluggish”. I will however also continue testing VMWare with Hypervisor enabled, and will write a more in-depth review of it later this spring.

This is a major step in right direction, but it still needs something to improve speed and reliability. Microsoft and VMWare are really working hard together to get there. Let’s hope they can pull it off!


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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