VMware Fusion 4 Upgrade?

September 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Last week, I was excited to hear about the new version of VMware Fusion (4!) that was just released.  I looked around for upgrade pricing, having owned at least one license of every version of Fusion made, along with just about every version of VMware Workstation for Windows since version 2.

I didn’t see anything on upgrade pricing…  I logged into my VMware account and found the licensing page.  Just above the table with my licenses was a small yellow window.  It stated that VMware Fusion upgrades would be available the week of 9/19.  Ok, I thought.  I’ll wait.

Tonight, I logged in again.  The yellow box with the statement about Fusion upgrades had been replaced with a similar notice about another VMware product.  Unfortunately, there was still no upgrade button to be found, relating to my existing Fusion 3 licenses.

Then I found it.  This link states that if you bought your Fusion 3 license before Lion was released, you are SOL.  Well, it doesn’t actually say that, but it might as well.  It states:

Customers who purchased VMware Fusion 3 before the OS X Lion availability will need to buy a full license of VMware Fusion 4 to obtain all its new features and enhancements.

What? Haven’t they offered upgrades on every version of Fusion and Workstation in the past? Currently, they offer the upgrade to Workstation 8 half the price of a full license.

The message I’m getting from all this:  VMware doesn’t care about us anymore.

A more reasoned analysis:  Someone at VMware’s parent company (EMC) is probably pressuring VMware to increase their income.  They priced it the same as the upgrade pricing for Parallels for Mac 7.  They probably did this to try to push fence sitters toward VMware.  They didn’t give any love to their loyal customers, though.

What they SHOULD do:  Give existing Fusion 3 customers a discount too.  Perhaps not the $30 discount new customers gets, but at least $25 off.  For a total of $48, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade my 2 licenses to Fusion 4.

An Alternative:  While it is my opinion that VMware is disrespecting their current customers in a major way, we don’t have to just sit here and take it.  Parallels is offering a competitive upgrade offer that’s very… umm.. competitive.  For only $29, you can upgrade from Fusion to the latest version of Parallels.  If you are interested, here’s a link to save you from having to go to google.

What am I going to do?  I pointed out to VMware their flub on the Fusion upgrade within their own website last week (claiming that upgrades would be available this week), then pointed out the Parallels competitive upgrade offer.  I’m waiting to hear back from them to see if they change their policy, or offer me an upgrade discount.

Why would I do that?  Honesty time.  I’ve tried Parallels before and had issues with it.  Most recently, with Parallels 6, I had multiple crashes on my iMac when running VMs.  I switched to Fusion 3, migrating those VMs over, and the crashes stopped cold.  For me, VMware won on stability.  It doesn’t matter how much faster Parallels claims to run (vs. Fusion), if it won’t stay running.  If VMware won’t fix this, I’ll probably see if Parallels 7 is more stable than 6 was, but I’m hoping that VMware will do the right thing…  Not just for me, but for all Fusion 3 customers.

Update 10/6/2011:  I have just got around to posting it, but within a few days of my complaint email to VMware, they relented and gave me a discount on the upgrade.  I’m still disappointed that they didn’t extend this to all previous customers, though.

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Entry filed under: Mac.

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