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Microsoft Unveils Virtualization Strategy 141

billstewart writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft will be announcing a virtualization strategy on Tuesday. Of course there's plenty of focus on the competition with VMware, including the obligatory reference to Microsoft's entry into the browser wars prior to cutting off Netscape's air supply. The pieces of the picture will include: an alliance with Citrix Systems, owners of XenSource; acquisition of privately held Calista Technologies of San Jose, which has software that speeds up the performance of applications running in a virtualized environment; and lower price for Windows Vista used on virtualized computers. Microsoft also reversed its earlier position and will now allow the Home Basic and Home Premium versions of Vista to run under virtualization. The company confirmed its plans to deliver its Hyper-V hypervisor within six months of the launch of Windows Server 2008 (betas available now), which is expected this quarter."
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Microsoft Unveils Virtualization Strategy

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  • What worries me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:46AM (#22135828) Homepage Journal
    If I were a prospective client, I would think about the effective way IE killed the then king netscape, sure.

    I would also think about the way IE turned into an awfully modularized insecure POS after winning.

    Let's just hope Xen makers don't play the part of NCSA Mosaic.
  • Re:Scary? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by stevie.f ( 1106777 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:49AM (#22135846)
    It's always scary when Microsoft go for the Next Big Thing.

    Somehow their first attempts always seem so much worse than anyone elses first attempt. I imagine this endeavour will be no more successful than vista
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:56AM (#22135894) Homepage Journal
    Xen won't squeeze VMWare out until they get themselves a freakin' UI that is usable.
  • Re:Scary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:03AM (#22135930)
    Usually Microsft's first attempt *is* someone else's first attempt. Their roduct development roadmap is a case of "that's cool, we must have some of that, buy that company".

    Who did they buy to get Virtual PC in the first place? I'd be very surprised to hear that they developed it entirely in-house.

    This endeavour will be somewhat successful - VPC is out there at the moment, and its free since roughly the same time VMWare offered VMWare server for free (go figure :) ). If this hypervisor is not free too, then it'll have a hard time being adopted by companies that are used to, and happy with, VMWare.

    If they do give their hypervisor away for free, then VMware will release ESX too and nothing will really change! I think this can only be a good thing for us :-)
  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:41AM (#22136112) Homepage
    Whether you go for their whole strategy or not, a good thing to come out of their announcement is them allowing non-Ultimate Vista to be virtualisable (or non-Business, or whichever of the twenty levels they arbitrarily set it at the last time).

    I'm on OS X and run a VMware image of XP for a couple of apps. I have no need for Vista, but should a need arise I can now upgrade to the lower versions and carry on running. MS gets some money from me it previously wouldn't have had and I can still use my platform of choice.

    That's good news for people.

  • by Wiseman1024 ( 993899 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:59AM (#22136196)
    Microsoft loves GUIDs. They look so enterprisey and scream of "stop looking, keep consuming".
  • by Migala77 ( 1179151 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:01AM (#22136208)

    I would also think about the way IE turned into an awfully modularized insecure POS after winning.
    I disagree. IE just didn't improve much after winning. It always was a POS. Just as netscape was. Neither product was very standards-compliant, mostly because the standards were also POSs (PsOS?) at the time. The decision to rewrite Netscape wasn't taken because it was a perfect product. Luckily we now have better, more standards-compliant alternatives.
  • Re:Scary? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stevey ( 64018 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:15AM (#22136262) Homepage

    On a serious note - virtualisation plays a major part in computing today, if Microsoft's os is going to be virtualised it will be done on thier terms and of course deeply integrated.


    One of the benefits of virtualised Linux is that you can run minimal VMs for different purposes. Right now I have a desktop running about 8 Xen instances of Debian, in a mixture of Stable, Testing, and Unstable.

    If you imagine running Microsoft Windows for testing you'd be interested in running XP, Vista, and Server. That is most likely going to become a licensing nightmare.

    Running virtual Windows should be OK itself, if your host hardware is sufficient (since Windows has GUI and is generally "busier" than Linux installs. But the licensing cost(s) will be something that don't tend to apply to the Linux virtualization.

  • Re:Scary? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by stevie.f ( 1106777 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:24AM (#22136292)
    Flamebait? I thought it was a relevant point. Almost every Microsoft product feels as if it has been released just a little too early and isn't as 'finished' as most other companies products. It takes a while for it to get to the point where I feel it is a product I could be using and I don't see why this instance should be any different
  • by HaloMan ( 314646 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:55AM (#22136662) Homepage
    No, seriously. VMWare having some decent competition isn't going to do any harm - and VMWare will still dominate the Linux market which is not insignificant - and everyone legally allowed to virtualise any version of Vista is great news for everybody including VMWare, if belated.

    Microsoft wanting a piece of the market could easily result in great products being created. Look at the recent versions of IIS that have been a vast improvement thanks to the old versions being crappy compared to Apache. Even MS realise that people who are interested in this sort of thing aren't after any old shit.
  • Now for sale: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ( 793321 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:13AM (#22136762) Homepage Journal
    - Windows Vista Virtual Machine edition - Windows Vista VM edition plus - Windows Vista VM edition ultimate - Windows Vista VM home edition - Windows Vista VM edition OEM and of course the always popular - Windows vista VM edition ultra & Solitaire Pro Edition 2008 ultra Pricing yet to be decided.
  • by noobstate ( 1224768 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:26AM (#22136836)
    since its under GPL, is it possible for someone to just FORK XEN now and not even worry about it ... or is there no point since it is GPL and open source ... but is it possible for microsoft to change license later down the line screwing everyone into paying ?!? Microsoft cant be trusted, thats a fact. why doesn't someone just fork it now steal all the true open source developers and move on .. something with such great potential (Enterprise wise) shouldn't be trusted within a corporation noways. it should be open source .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:44AM (#22136956)
    For now, VMWare has absolutely nothing to worry about. From hardcore linux users to the most Kool-aid drinking Microsoft users I know, everyone of them universally thinks VirtualPC is a flaming piece of shit. Microsoft has a long way to go to beat them. Also, VMWare's real strength is ESX in the linux space. Microsoft won't give a shit about running linux... they'll care about how it runs Windows, and make a token pitiful effort at getting it running linux.

    I think VMWare will be fine so long as they keep the linux side spanking whatever MS can do there.
  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:53AM (#22137044)

    Unless VMware gets its act together it's going to lose market share pretty quickly. The documentation is awful. Just. Fucking. Awful. There's tons of it to be sure, but it's contradictory, badly written, confusing and downright wrong in places.

    Maybe so, but it's streets ahead of the documentation of the Linux-based offerings (to say nothing of the UI and management tools). VMWare have a long, long way to fall before any of the current alternatives knock them off (through either fair means _or_ foul).

  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @11:28AM (#22138010)
    Huh? What do you need documentation for Vmware for? I've been using it for years and never used the docs.
  • by davidsyes ( 765062 ) * on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @04:23PM (#22142826) Homepage Journal
    VirtualBox. It's friendlier, easier, and damned convenient. I didn't give a RAT'S ASS about the two particular no-virtualization allowed for Basic and Home Premium. And, why SHOULD I or anyone have. It's an onerous, specious, vicious, odious clause. The lawyers and execs who inserted it should be flogged.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle