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Microsoft strips Hyper-V of price tag

Redmond urges VMworld to 'get virtual now'

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Microsoft has shown its virtualisation rivals the V sign, with the firm’s announcement today that the standalone version of Hyper-V Server 2008 will be available as a free download.

Previously, Redmond’s hypervisor came with a price tag of $28 per seat but, following on from VMware’s tactical play in July to offer its bare-bones ESXi hypervisor for free, it’s hardly surprising to see Microsoft make a similar move now.

The software beast has decided that autumn is crisp enough for customers to start taking its late entry into the increasingly crowded virt market seriously. It’s put out a flurry of announcements at its “Virtual Now” event about upcoming releases that form part of Microsoft’s virtualisation jigsaw.

Microsoft’s hypervisor-based server virtualisation product, Hyper-V Server 2008, will be available within 30 days as a free internet download.

The company will also hustle its System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 product that allows customers to centrally manage all their VM goodies from one location, out the door within the same timeframe. It will also be available at “no cost”.

Last week Microsoft released Application Virtualisation 4.5, which streams an app from server to PC to help prevent software conflicts on the bloated Vista desktop.

MS preferred to describe the latest version of App-V as being able to “fully harness the power of Windows Vista” by caching a virtual app and running it in a sandboxed setting. The firm will bundle the tech with Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack 2008 R2, which is expected to land in the coming weeks.

Microsoft’s Hyper-V was finally released to manufacturing in June, months behind the February debut of Windows Server 2008, even though its hypervisor forms a key component of the company’s latest server product. ®

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