VMware has announced that Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro are now free for personal use, bringing home users and students the capabilities to set up virtual test labs and experiment with different operating systems at minimal cost.

VMware Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro free personal use featured

This change comes amid a period of transition following Broadcom’s $61 billion acquisition of VMware in November, which included the divestiture of the End-User Computing Division, the end of perpetual licensing, and the discontinuation of the free vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi). Michael Roy, Product Manager for Desktop Hypervisor products, has explained that users can now choose between a free personal use license or a paid commercial use subscription for these Pro applications.

To get started, personal users can first register a Broadcom account on support.broadcom.com, then start downloading the VMware Fusion Pro and VMware Workstation Pro software, and select the personal use option during installation.

On a side note, VMware is discontinuing its previous Workstation Player and Fusion Player software, as all its full-featured products are now free. But since the VMs used in Player versions are compatible with Pro versions, upgrading to them will be simple as follows:

  • Workstation Player (Personal) — Download and install the Workstation Pro personal use product. Workstation Player will continue to be bundled with Workstation Pro.
  • Fusion Player (Personal) — Update to Fusion 13.5.2 and delete the license key file to remove the ‘Player’ functionality limitation and unlock the ‘Pro for Personal Use’ functionality without needing any additional keys.
  • Fusion Player 13 and Workstation Player 17 (Commercial License) — Player products will continue to function with no new license keys needed. Products will continue to be supported for existing customers in alignment with their existing End of Life and End of General Support dates.

Kindly refer to this link for more information on the changes to the VMware Player products.


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