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Microsoft releases VMware-eater

All your VMDKs are belong to Windows Server thanks to free converter

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One of the more interesting moments at this year's VMworld keynote saw outgoing CEO Paul Maritz proclaim, in an unusual-for-him strident tone, that one cannot beat Microsoft on price. One beats Microsoft on value, he concluded, before implying that VMware will do that blindfolded and with one arm tied behind its back.

The enthusiastic VMworld audience agreed, and made plenty of noise to show it.

Not everyone shares Maritz's opinion: our review of Windows Server 2012, for example, declared Hyper-V “greatly improved”. And let's not forget the graveyard filled with corpses of companies whose standalone products became mere features in Windows Server.

Microsoft doubtless hopes VMware will one day push up daisies in a nearby plot, and to hasten the day on which it does so has released the prosaically-named Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVNC).

Redmond bills the tool as capable of converting a VMware virtual machine or virtual disk into their Hyper-V equivalents with a Wizard and just five screens worth of clicks.

There's also a “MVMC Plug-in for VMware vSphere Client” which fiendishly “Extends the vSphere Client context menu to make it easier to convert the VMware-based virtual machine to a Hyper-V-based virtual machine.” Importantly, the new tool can run without the need for previous Hyper-V or System Centre installations. Even Windows 7 users can put it to work.

Importing virtual machines is not an arcane trick: even the free VirtualBox tool can suck in a VMware VMDK and spit it out as a Open Virtualization Format contraption. Yet if nothing else, Microsoft's new release (available here) shows just how serious Redmond is about making inroads into the virtualisation market.

And when Microsoft gets that serious about something, it very often gets what it wants. ®

High performance access to file storage

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