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Linux Journal: VMware Express 2.0 and Win4Lin 2.0: A Comparison Review

Mar 31, 2001, 16:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Choong Ng)

"Each of these offers a way to access Windows applications from a Linux desktop, and I will evaluate each based on performance in test applications, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Adobe Photoshop, Apple QuickTime and id Software's Wolfenstein 3D. These four packages were selected for their ability to, in combination, bring a wide range of systems to their knees and find compatibility issues in all types of system and emulation software. These applications will be tested on my current test machine, a P3 560 with 384MB of RAM running Mandrake 7.0. I have six primary considerations while evaluating each product: compatibility with DOS/Windows applications, stability both inside the emulator and of the emulator itself, interoperability with the Linux environment, resource efficiency, ease of use and support (but not necessarily in that order). After the individual evaluations, I will include some direct comparisons, a summary and errata that didn't fit anywhere else...."

"Both VMware Express 2.0 and Win4Lin 2.0 are solid products and worthy of consideration by anyone needing legacy Windows application compatibility. If you are looking for a Windows compatibility solution, I would advise that both be carefully considered. The two most important considerations are application compatibility and resource usage. If system memory and disk space are very limited (i.e., you have 64MB or less of memory or less than 1GB of free space on your hard disk) I recommend Win4Lin. If instead you need rock-solid stability and the best application compatibility available, I recommend VMware Express. Both products have downloadable demos available from their respective web sites, so a careful evaluation of each will cost you little more than a few hours of experimentation."

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