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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Microsoft to Support Linux

Microsoft surprised yesterday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in Boston, saying that it will deliver Linux support and will make Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 available to customers at no charge.

The Redmond giant shook the server virtualisation market with the revelation that it will now provide technical support for Linux running on Virtual Server, and would make Virtual Server 2005 R2 available free.

Zane Adam, director of product marketing in the Windows Server Division at Microsoft, described the company?s efforts to make server virtualization technology more accessible, manageable and affordable. He said that the company will support Linux running as a "guest" in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 from a technology and support perspective.

"This will help customers safely consolidate their Linux-based applications on Virtual Server," he said.

"With this expanded support, we are providing software that they can install in the Linux guest operating systems to realise significant improvements and usability enhancements with those guests."

"This software improves the usability of Linux running in a virtual machine environment on top of Virtual Server 2005 R2. The additions for Red Hat Linux and Novell SuSE Linux will be available as a download at no charge," he added.

The Redmont-based company is also seeing a momentum around its Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format licensing program, which will drive industry development of solutions to help customers better manage virtual machines. VHD captures the entire virtual machine operating system and the application stack in a single file.

"We now have more than 45 vendors signed up in this royalty-free licence programme, which is more than double the number we had six months ago," Adam said.

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