Redmond continues to bang virtualisation drum

Microsoft will release the first publicly available beta preview of its new hypervisor virtualisation technology later this month, company officials have revealed.

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Microsoft will release the first publicly available beta preview of its new hypervisor virtualisation technology later this month, company officials have revealed.

The release of the Windows Server Virtualisation (WSV) pre-beta code, called a community technology preview (CTP), will come at the same time Microsoft ships a new beta release of Windows Server 2008 called “Release Candidate 0.”

A release candidate is a final beta before the code is considered finished. Microsoft plans to have at least one more release candidate before the server ships early next year.

Microsoft made the announcement at VMWorld, the annual conference of its biggest virtualisation rival VMware.

Microsoft said the CTP will not include all the features that are planned for the final version.

"We expect to be there in the beta time frame and we plan to do considerable work between now and the beta," said Mike Neil, Microsoft’s general manager of virtualisation.

The first official beta of WSV is set to ship early next year when Windows Server 2008 hits its final release stage. The final version of WSV will ship within 180 days of the release-to-manufacturing of Windows Server 2008, which is now slated between 1 January and 31 March, 2008.

Microsoft also made three other announcements at the conference with two of them reinforcing its new spin focused on broadening the virtualisation discussion to include desktops.

Critics have called the marketing strategy a smoke screen to deflect attention away from the fact that Microsoft does not yet have a viable server virtualisation product to compete with market leader VMware.

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