The VMware Player is a virtual machine - sort of a PC made of software - which runs many different operatings systems side by side with the main operating system. The complete desktop of the guest system shows up in a window of the host system. The best of VMware Player is that it is free! VMware hopes that people like the idea and buy a version with even more functionality called Workstation.
Below you see a screenshot of a small window (for demonstration purposes) of VMware Player on the gray Windows desktop and the Debian Linux in it with an orange desktop. The Linux desktop doesn't fit into the Player window and thus there are scrollbars. Note that the blue Player window (which belongs to Windows) allows you to turn on and off CD-ROM, Floppy, Ethernet and Sound of the virtual PC. With one click you can e.g. cut off the internet connection of the guest system.
Generally you would operate your guest system in either a bigger window or even better in full screen mode so that there are no scrollbars. In that case only a small menu bar of the Player remains at the top of the screen. There is a hide mode, which makes it disappear like the Windows task bar if it is not under the mouse. Read more in Getting Started.
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