Microsoft makes Virtual Server R2 free
The move reflects the competitive virtualization software market
Computerworld - Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will give away its Virtual Server R2 for free, a move seen as reflecting the furiously competitive virtualization software market.
This is Microsofts second price cut for its flagship virtualization product, which can host multiple virtual machines running either Linux or Windows. Virtual Server 2005 originally cost $999 and $499 for the Enterprise and Standard editions, respectively, when released in September 2004. Microsoft then released Virtual Server R2 at $199 and $99 for the Enterprise and Standard editions, respectively, in December.
Longtime virtualization market leader VMware Inc., which already had a free product called VMware Player, responded in February by making its GSX Server free. Meanwhile, Linux-based vendors such as XenSource Inc. and Virtual Iron Software Inc. are readying new or updated versions of their virtualization software.
With todays change, Microsoft is eliminating the Standard edition and making its Enterprise edition available for download at no charge.
Zane Adam, director of product marketing for the Windows Server division, acknowledged that the move is partly a tactical reaction to other vendors moves. But even before R2 arrived, we were already signaling this was the direction we were going in, he said.
Microsoft entered the virtualization market in 2003 when it bought Virtual PC for the Macintosh and the then-unreleased Virtual Server from Connectix Corp. It claims 5,000 customers for all versions of Virtual Server today, with a total of 700,000 downloads of the product. Adam declined to speculate on how many users Microsoft hopes to gain by making the software free.
Microsoft has itself played a role in the rapid commoditization of the virtualization software market. A year ago, it said it would fold a hypervisor -- software that manages virtual machine -- into R2 of the upcoming Longhorn Windows Server, which is expected around 2009.
We think that virtualization will eventually be just like having wheels on your car; its just going to be there, Adam said.
Microsoft also released add-ins to allow current and past enterprise and standard versions of both Red Hat Linux and Novell Inc.'s SUSE Linux to run on top of Virtual Server as guest operating systems. Microsoft will also offer 24-hour technical support for Linux applications and guest operating systems running on Virtual Server.
Microsoft said that it has signed up 45 vendors as licensees of its freely available Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format. Licensees, including Brocade Communications Systems Inc., BMC Software Inc., Network Appliance Inc. and XenSource, are making their applications interoperate with VHD, and thus Virtual Server.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts