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MS threatens to ship new hypervisor preview

While it smooches Citrix

Remote control for virtualized desktops

VMworld Like the bloated engine that could, Microsoft today tried its best to garner some attention at the VMworld conference with a couple of newsish tid-bits.

First off, Microsoft did the inevitable by confirming that its new hypervisor – code-named Viridian and formally named Windows Server virtualization – will ship in Community Technology Preview form with the release of Windows Server 2008. Those of you who pay attention to such things will know that Windows Server 2008 has been pushed out to the first quarter of, well, 2008.

Microsoft has promised to ship a full-fledged version of Windows Server virtualization within 180 days of shipping Windows Server 2008. The new hypervisor should give Microsoft a much more competitive server virtualization play than today's attack centered around Virtual Server, which, unlike VMware and XenSource, runs on top of an operating system.

Microsoft did the inevitable once again by announcing that it has extended a partnership with Citrix, which recently moved to acquire XenSource. Both companies will now center around the Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format as "a common runtime environment for both virtualized operating systems and applications."

VMware relies on its own VMDK (virtual machine disk format).

Microsoft and Citrix have already been pretty upfront about their plans to tackle market leader VMware together. As mentioned, Microsoft does not exactly have a mature product ready yet and XenSource is still a work in progress. So, it makes sense for the two parties to pair up and go at the VMware juggernaut as best as they can.

Also at VMworld, Microsoft dribbled out word that the new MSI Utility for Microsoft Application Virtualization will ship this year. "This tool will enable the distribution of virtual applications without streaming, and instead will use Windows Installer (previously known as Microsoft Installer) to load and configure virtual applications," Microsoft said.

Just last week, Mircrosoft dumped out a bunch of additional virtualization items, highlighting its System Center Virtual Machine Manager. ®

Bootnote

Check out Episode 6 of Semi-Coherent Computing for more on the relationship between Microsoft and Citrix.

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