22 May 2006

Microsoft is Virtually into Virtualisation

This story about Microsoft moving deeper into virtualisation is interesting for a number of reasons. First, because it reveals one of the worst names for a product that I've heard in a long time:

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager

If you think about all these grey terms too long, your brain begins to deliquesce.

It also contains a good summary of the current state of play in virtualisation:

Virtualization, which today generally refers to the ability to run multiple operating systems simultaneously to make a computer more efficient, is a hot area and one in which Microsoft lags rivals. Even as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices add virtualization hardware support to make the technology mainstream, market leader VMware is exerting price pressure on Microsoft while the Xen project is giving rival Linux a major lead over Windows.

But one thing it doesn't explore - and which will be interesting to follow - is that fact that there are some very interesting licensing issues here. With open source, there's no problem: you want to bung 83 virtual copies of GNU/Linux on a box, you go ahead. But if you do that with Windows, do you have to pay for one copy, or 83...?

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