vmware beta’s DirectX support in Fusion

VMWare announced a new beta of their Fusion product for Mac OS X, one of the more interesting features of this beta is the hardware 3D support. (DirectX 8.1 only for now).

This is an interesting development to say the least. I’ve heard rumblings that that other Mac virtualisation company, Paralells, was working on a similar technology, but vmware beat them to the punch.

The technology in question is basically a wrapper, where the vmware 3D driver captures DirectX instructions, and translates that to OpenGL instructions the graphical 3D framework in Mac OS X can understand.

I can see how that still reduces the quality and speed of gaming somewhat, but it’s still a milestone of no small proportions.

As for the future, I can see a sort of hybrid directx/opengl driver for Mac OS X, where vmware (or paralells) acts as a bridge, and sends DirectX codes directly to the OS X driver, which then performs the proper graphical mayhem without interference of the OS itself. Less software, more hardware virtualisation so to speak. But before such feats become fact, we’ll have a ways to go, and this solution offers, at least temporary, potential.

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