Microsoft has announced that the next version of Windows Server – code-named “Longhorn” - will include virtualisation technology that is interoperable with the open source Linux operating system.
The move follows a tie-up with XenSource, which makes virtualisation products based on the open source Xen technology. XenSource will work with Microsoft to provide interoperability between Xen-enabled Linux and Windows Server virtualisation.
Microsoft’s move into the virtualisation market stepped up in April when it made its Virtual Server 2005 R2 software free of charge. But the company has also had to deal with businesses’ increasing interest in Linux.
The new development will support Longhorn users who want to run Linux as well as Windows in virtual environments, allowing them to increase hardware utilisation and consolidation across Windows, Linux and Xen-enabled Linux environments.
Microsoft is expecting to issue a beta release of Windows Server virtualisation by the end of the year, with the new software becoming commercially available in mid-2007, six months after the expected Longhorn release.
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