VirtualBox, a free software package that allows you to run a whole range of virtual machines on your Mac, has been updated to provide support for multi-touch platforms, support for the latest CPUs and other notable additions. The upgrade comes on the same day that Microsoft launched Windows 8.1, and ahead of the expected launch of Mavericks around the end of October …
Virtual machines allow you to run multiple operating systems on your Mac, and VirtualBox is a workable approach for occasional use. However, if you intend to run both OS X and Windows on your Mac on a regular basis you’ll likely find it easier to use the chargeable but friendlier and more powerful Parallels or VMWare.
In addition to multi-touch support, VirtualBox 4.3 adds a virtual USB webcam device, allowing virtual machines to run software like Skype and Google Hangouts. It also introduces video capture of virtual machine sessions and a host of other new stuff (PDF)
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 Now Available
Latest Release Provides New Multi-Touch Support and Enhanced Networking Capabilities
Redwood Shores, Calif. – October 15, 2013
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 introduces a virtual multi-touch user interface, supports additional devices and platforms, and provides enhanced networking capabilities enabling developers to virtualize modern post-PC era operating system features while maintaining compatibility with legacy operating systems.
Generally available today, Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 delivers the latest enhancements to the world’s most popular, free and open source, cross-platform virtualization software.
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 adds a unique virtual multi-touch interface to support touch-based operating systems, and other new virtual devices and utilities, including webcam devices and a session recording facility.
This release builds on previous releases with support for the latest Microsoft, Apple, Linux and Oracle Solaris operating systems, new virtual devices, and improved networking functionality.
Multi-touch Interface Supports Latest Touch-based Windows Operating Systems
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 provides support to run the most modern guest and host platforms. Enhancements include:
New operating system platform support: Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 supports the input device features, of the latest platforms such as Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Mac OS X 10.9 in a virtual environment. For Windows 8.1, the new release can also simulate a 10 point multi-touch device. Additionally, improved 3D acceleration accommodates the translucent effects in the latest Linux distributions from Ubuntu and Fedora, and enhanced multi-monitor support allows users with multiple screens to use them from within the virtual environment.
New devices and management utilities: A new virtual USB webcam device enables video conferencing applications such as Skype or Google Hangouts to run in virtual machines. New recording session capabilities allow users to record part, or all, of a virtual machine session using a new video-capture facility. For easy playback, movies are created in WebM format by a range of movie-players.
Networking improvements: A new Network Address Translation (NAT) option allows virtual machines to talk to each other on the same host, and communicate with the outside world. IPv6 is now offered across Bridged, Host-only, Internal and the new NAT networking modes. In addition, the remote display server built-in to Oracle VM VirtualBox can accommodate RDP connections over IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
“Building and testing modern applications requires developers to run everything from legacy environments to the latest Linux and Windows desktop and tablet operating systems with 3D effects and multi-touch interfaces,” said Wim Coekaerts, Oracle senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering. “Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 adds an innovative way to operate multi-touch interfaces on a desktop PC, making it easier for users to operate their virtual machines.”