In June the Russian website OpenNET unveiled the new features introduced in the first beta of VMware Workstation 7.0.
VMware kept the entire beta phase private, but last Friday decided to announce the public availability of the Release Candidate (build 197124) which also includes Player 3.0 and ACE 2.6.
The most remarkable new features of Workstation 7.0 RC are the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver that supports Vista and 7 Aero interface, and the support as guest OS for ESX and its VMotion (only on processors that support Intel EM64T with VT-x or on the AMD64 Family 10H and later processors with AMD-V).
The biggest surprise anyway comes from Player 3.0 RC which now has the capability to create and edit virtual machines.
Despite there are many unofficial editors for Player virtual machines, this is the first time that VMware includes one in the product.
The strategy seems to be changing for Workstation too, which continues to increase the size of supported virtual hardware (up to 32GB vRAM, up to 4 vCPUs and 4 cores), well beyond the needs of most consumers.
At this point it seems that Player is becoming the new Workstation and that Workstation is becoming the new Server.
In the near future VMware may decide to push ESXi as the main option for the SMBs that look for Server 2.0 today, phase out Server, and use Workstation as a powerful platform for several different things, including offline VDI.