Friday, April 07, 2006

Microsoft Gives Virtual Nod to Linux

"Microsoft has recognized the growing influence of Linux in virtualization, with offerings from VMware and XenSource, and needs some level of support for platforms other than Windows," said IDC analyst Stephen Elliot. "There is a higher risk for Microsoft if they don't collaborate with the Linux community."

Microsoft is pushing further into the virtualization realm, announcing that its Virtual Server 2005 R2 product will provide support for Linux. In addition, the company is now offering the software as a free download.

Analysts have said it is only a matter of time before virtualization capabilities are commoditized, as chipmakers like Intel and AMD provide additional support for the technology at the motherboard level. This trend could mean that the battle for the virtualization market could shift entirely to software tools that help manage virtual environments and organize the systems to use the hardware more efficiently.

Along with the free software, Microsoft is offering add-ins to run select Red Hat and Novell SuSE Linux distributions. The company also is offering technical support to help customers consolidate their Linux-based applications on Virtual Server 2005 R2.

With this move, Redmond hopes to ensure that non-Windows operating systems can run on its Virtual Server software and on its future virtualization products.

Microsoft has recognized the growing influence of Linux in virtualization, with offerings from VMware and XenSource, and needs some level of support for platforms other than Windows," said IDC analyst Stephen Elliot. "There is a higher risk for Microsoft if they don't collaborate with the Linux community."

Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillet offered a similar take, noting that in extending a hand to Linux, Microsoft wants to control the virtualization layer of server systems. "They don't want to cede the high ground to Xen on Linux, or give customers a reason not to have Xen technology under the Windows platform," he said.

[via Newsfactor]

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