The following review written by one of the Software Informer contributors applies to version 5.0
VMware Player allows you to create and run virtual machines under Windows easily. A virtual machine is an isolated emulated computer, capable of running its own operating system, plus having its own configuration and applications.
The virtual machine runs as an application on the primary (host) operating system, and it can be displayed as either a window, or full-screen.
In the past, VMware Player could only run virtual machines already created with VMware Workstation, however, the latest releases of VMware player also allow the user to create the virtual machines.
One of the greatest disadvantages of the fast-changing information technologies and operating systems, is that, when a new version of an operating system is released, many programs that ran well on the previous version do not work with the newest one. Fortunately, creating a virtual machine offers a solution for this problem.
Creating a Virtual Machine has many advantages for many users. Users of Windows 7/8 can create a virtual machine running Windows XP or Linux, and start the computer, install the specific software on the virtual computer, use the programs with all its features, and shut down the computer. All of this without the need of a reboot, or dealing with installing another operating system on another partition or hard drive.
With VMware Player, you have the option to install all versions of Microsoft Windows, many distributions of Linux, Sun Solaris, Novell Netware, and others. At the moment of the creation of the virtual machine, you will specify its hard disk size, the option to split the hard disk into multiple files, and the nature of these files either pre-allocated, or dynamic.
Once the guest operating system is installed, you have the option to install VMware Tools, which is a software package that allows for better performance of the virtual machine, as well as integration options between the virtual machine and the host machine, such as drag and drop to copy/move a file, clipboard sharing and unity mode (the ability to have a program that is being executed on the virtual machine as a window on the taskbar of the host machine).
WMware Tools is definitely a great solution for compatibility problems and software testing, where these and other situations need the environment of an isolated computer.