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Broadcom's Latest Move: Making VMware Workstation Pro Available for Free

VMware Workstation Pro is free now, but it will take you a while to download it.

Ever since Broadcom's acquisition of VMware, we have seen them drop the hammer on many existing customers by ditching perpetual licenses, in favor of a subscription-based licensing model.

They even shut down the VMware Cloud Services Provider program, while only inviting a select few vendors back into the fold under the Broadcom Expert Advantage Partner program.

Interestingly, in a recent announcement, they have chosen to give something back to their community by making two popular VMware products free.

It was a surprise for me, yes. But there were some problems that I'll talk about later.

What can you expect from Broadcom's Generosity?

In an unexpected move, Broadcom has made VMware Fusion Pro and VMware Workstation Pro free for all kinds of personal usage. We will focus on Workstation Pro, as that is available for Linux; Fusion Pro is a macOS-only affair.

Now, if you are someone who wants to use a hypervisor for a personal project or want one just to check out a couple of Linux distros. You do not have to pay a dime to access the advanced features that Workstation Pro offers.

However, for commercial usage, you still have to pay for a subscription, which can be sourced through a Broadcom Advantage Partner.

Additionally, VMware is retiring the previous player versions of both Workstation and Fusion, with a detailed process for existing users on how to upgrade to the pro variants.

They also shared a helpful table to guide users with the migration. 👇

an illustration showing the migration path for existing vmware users

To dive deeper into what's going on, you may refer to the announcement blog.

Get VMware Workstation Pro

You can get the latest builds of VMware Workstation Pro from the Broadcom customer portal.

Unfortunately, you will have to sign in using a Broadcom account to get access. If you don't have an account, then you will have to make one.

You would think the download process would be straightforward, but no. First, you have to log in, then choose the “Personal” variants; otherwise, it will throw an error saying “Not Entitled”.

Then, you have to fill out a “Trade Compliance Verification” form before the portal allows you to download anything. I remember the simpler days, back in 2022, when getting VMware was just a matter of a few clicks.

💬 What do you think? Was making these paid products available for free the right decision?

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