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Microsoft adds Virtual Server to delay parade

Like Switzerland without the punctuality

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Microsoft's delay culture has carried over to the Virtual Server team with an update to the server slicing product being pushed back to "early 2007."

The Redmond beast now plans to ship a beta of the service pack 1 (SP1) for Virtual Server 2005 R2 in the next 90 days and deliver the final take of the update next year. Microsoft had been looking to have the update done and dusted by the fourth quarter of this year.

Virtual Server joins Windows Vista and Office 2007 in the pantheon of major software projects delayed by Microsoft.

The Virtual Server delay won't please Microsoft customers looking to tap into new virtualization hardware tools in Intel and AMD chips. Such hardware support is the key addition with the update.

Microsoft will also ship its Volume Shadow Services in the update. Storage pros use VSS for backing up data and should see the technology work with virtual operating systems.

"With the service pack, Microsoft customers will be provided with better interoperability, strengthened isolation to help prevent corruption of one virtual machine from affecting others on the same system, and improved performance for non-Windows guest operating systems," a Microsoft spokesperson added.

Customers will still have to wait until 2008 or 2009 to see Micrososft catch up with rivals VMware and Xen and deliver a hypervisor-based Virtual Server product. Unlike the competition, Microsoft runs Virtual Server on top of a standard operating system, while a hypervisor sits underneath the OS. ®

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