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The Next Round in the Virtualization Wars 355

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-this-corner dept.
GvG writes "After making Virtual Server available for free some time ago, Microsoft announced today it is offering Virtual PC as a free (as in beer) download. They also announced a change to the Vista license related to virtualization: Customers who deploy Windows Vista Enterprise have the ability to install up to four (4) copies of the operating system in a virtual machine for a single user on a single device. Even better, nothing in the license requires that Microsoft Virtualization technologies be used - if you want to use a competing product as your Virtualization solution, you still get the four extra licenses for use with VMs."
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The Next Round in the Virtualization Wars

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  • What about XP? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by akac (571059) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:25AM (#15710554) Homepage
    I guess its fine for Vista, but frankly if I'm running an OS in virtualization, I'd prefer one that uses fewer resources than Vista. XP is a hog, but a thin one by Vista's standard.
    • I agree with the sentiment, but it doesn't go far enough. From Microsoft's own website: Save time and money as Virtual PC allows you to maintain the compatibility of legacy and custom applications during migration to new operating systems and increases the efficiency of support, development, and training staffs. So they come out and say that this can be used to maintain conpatability with legacy programs. But how do I do that if I have a Vista system and want to install a copy of XP? Or even if I want to in
      • Or even if I want to install a copy of Win98 or Win95 or Win3.1, no longer sold.

        ...funny thing about that. I still have DOS 6.22 and Win3.1 kicking around, so I put them on a partition on my new computer (as of last fall). DOS works, but Win3.1 will crash with a general protection fault unless I run it in DosBox. I have even older copies of Windows which don't work at all!

        My point is, the old Windows interfaces (Win3.1 is not an OS) were doing some really non-standard things behind the scenes, there's n

        • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @04:57AM (#15711251) Homepage
          Windows 3.1 won't work in dosemu (which uses the old V86 virtualization that's been in the Intel 80386 onwards), nor will it run in OS/2's V86 environment. But you can patch it with some DLL you used to be able to download from IBM that makes it use DPMI for protected mode, and then it runs in both.

          The new virtualization stuff is much more capable than V86 mode so I'd be surprised if it couldn't cope with Windows 3.1.
      • by julesh (229690) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:50AM (#15710995)
        But how do I do that if I have a Vista system and want to install a copy of XP?

        Microsoft licenses typically allow you to run an older version of the same software in place of the current version if you wish. I'm not sure that this applies to the vista license, but I suspect it does.

        The same question exists if I have an XP system and I want to install an XP virtual machine on it.

        The XP license (at least the corporate one) allows you to run one virtual instance, in the same way the Vista one allows 4. All they're doing here is increasing the numbers.
      • It remains to be seen if this is true in this case, but in general, Microsoft have allowed their Windows and Office licenses to be used instead for a single installation of any previous version at the customer's option.

        This was seen in practice a lot during the migration from WNT 4 to W2K; companies bought as many W2K licenses as they needed, but actually ran WNT 4 until they were happy enough with W2K to switch over.

    • "I guess its fine for Vista, but frankly if I'm running an OS in virtualization, I'd prefer one that uses fewer resources than Vista. XP is a hog, but a thin one by Vista's standard."

      Sure. But what about in 2 years or so? Vista may be a hog, but every year more resources are available.
      • Re:What about XP? (Score:3, Informative)

        by akac (571059)
        True if that's the host OS. But for a virtualized host, one wishes it to be as lean as possible to impact the host OS as little as possible.
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gardyloo (512791) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:29AM (#15710566)
    ... does it run... aw, fuckitall.

                *head asplode*
    • Yes, but a better question would be:

      Does it run MacOS X_86? (or can be 'patched' to do so instead of buying MacBook-clone hardware)
      • Given that there isn't a legally released MacOS X86 for non Mac hardware, then virtualization licenses don't really apply. If you can install MacOS on your hardware, then I'm pretty sure you can install it via VMWare or a similiar option, but it won't be legal.
        • Re:A better question (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Well, I read the EULA (or whatever Apple called those) for 10.2, and there was nothing said there about the legality of running that OS on non-apple hardware. So I ran it on PowerPC emulator http://wiki.pearpc.net/index.php/PearPC_Tour [pearpc.net]

          Did the Apple change their EULA so you cannot do that with 10.5_x86?
          • Where are you getting a license for the software to begin with?

            You get a copy of MacOS with your Mac. Assuming you take it off your Mac, wipe the hard drive, and then install your one copy elsewhere, it might be legal. I'd have to read the EULA.

            But 99% of EULA's out there allow for one copy on one PC for your license, and if you have MacOS, it is because it is already on your Mac. Putting on any other PC via any other means would be illegal.
        • Yes. (Score:3, Informative)

          by IANAAC (692242)
          I was able to install Tiger_x86 (10.4) under VMWare. Got networking with one of Maxxuss' pathes. Still can't get sound to work though. Other than that, it runs fine in VMWare.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      By the looks of things, it does, in fact, support quite a wide range of *ix-based OS's...
      Have a look for yourself: http://vpc.visualwin.com/ [visualwin.com]

      Missing some of SCO unix server OS's, and some misc client/server distro's that I've only ever heard of in passing, but overall... kinda impressive, for M$. Well done to them. I've not used VPC myself, and I haven't used VMWare since my college days (v4.0, where it ran like a dog on RedHat(choice of OS wasn't up to the students), but even if it only runs half as well as
  • Sorry Mac Users (Score:5, Informative)

    by thedbp (443047) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:31AM (#15710577)
    the version of VPC that is freely available only runs on Windows.

    Blarg!
    • Re:Sorry Mac Users (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tb3 (313150) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:49AM (#15710641) Homepage
      Right, because there's competition for VPC on Windows, from VMWare and others. There's not much, other than Parallels, on the Mac side right now.

      Shouldn't it be illegal for Microsoft to 'dump' products for the express purpose of driving their competition out of business? I know it's not normally, but they should change the rules for someone convicted of abusing their monopoly.
      • Nope (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:38AM (#15710963)
        The problem is VMWare opened the door. They released free products (player and server). It's actually their move to try and drive MS out. MS doesn't have a product that competes with their high end server products. So they are hoping they can become ubiquitous as the VM technology in the low end market, so whenever anyone thinks VM, they think VMWare and buy the high end stuff (MS will have a high end virtualization solution at some point). MS now can claim, with 100% justification, that they are eimply pricing competitive with the market. A monopoly can't use preditory practises but they aren't reuired to screw you. There's no "If you are a monopoly you have to charge more than your compeition."

        In any competition, you have to be careful what you do because it could invite reprisals. The same si true when it's a bigger player. If you decide something should be free, they have every right, regardless of position, to answer that with a similar free product.

        Now they could get in trouble if they leveraged Windows to try and force their product. IF the virtual license applied to VPC only, that could get them in trouble as they are using their OS monopoly (which I find a funny term, given the Apple and Linux competition) to help their VM division. However since the license applies to their competitiors equally, it's not anti-competitive in the slightest.
        • Not a monopoly? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MarkByers (770551) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @05:04AM (#15711268) Homepage Journal
          their OS monopoly (which I find a funny term, given the Apple and Linux competition)

          Yeah, it's absolutely hilarious that people would claim that Windows a monopoly... ...until the day you try to switch and you realise:

            * 95% of your software no longer works (yes there are free alternatives to most things, but you already paid for a lot of expensive software so why can't you use it?)
            * You can no longer play your favorite multiplayer game with your friends from university.
            * Several pieces of your expensive hardware only has Windows drivers and now you can't use it.
            * A few of your favourite websites (including your net banking) no longer work because of ActiveX, Flash 8 or severe rendering bugs.
            * You can no longer watch the games/videos/greetings your family emails you as executable files (although this is arguably an advantage).
            * If you are using a free operating system, you may have trouble installing software covered by patent laws (mp3 players for example).
            * You can't access the files on your hard disk from another oprating system because Windows encrypted it (OK, this one hasn't happened yet, but I'm looking forward to it happening soon...)

          Still laughing?
          • And the best part is that absolutely none of those reasons are why Microsoft is considered to have a monopoly. If you want to go run Linux as a Joe Sixpack (read: doesn't know that the side panel comes off), you've gotta go buy an off-the-shelf PC that has a copy of Windows XP preinstalled, just so you can go format it away and burn $100+. I'm honestly trying to give an analogy but can't come up with a great one... best I can do is that Apple would have a monopoly on the "iPod OS" market were it not free,
            • by MarkByers (770551) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @06:41AM (#15711459) Homepage Journal
              And the best part is that absolutely none of those reasons are why Microsoft is considered to have a monopoly.

              You do not need to be a lawyer to undrestand why Windows is so popular and manages to get such a huge share of the market. Microsoft has a monopoly because for many people, like it or not, Windows is the only choice, for reasons I listed in my earlier post. It is that simple. I am not judging whether this is good or bad, legal or illegal, I am just stating a fact.

              I am not considering if they are abusing their monopoly, which is what I think you are talking about. This is a totally different, valid but more complicated question, and that is when the lawyers start getting involved.

              you've gotta go buy an off-the-shelf PC that has a copy of Windows XP preinstalled

              This isn't true, at least not in Denmark where I live. I can't remember the last time I bought a PC with an OS pre-installed.
          • * 95% of my linux software doesn't work on Windows. And that software is WHY I switched, not out of some altruistic nonsense.
            * Games are the only reason I still own windows. There ARE games that linux-only, and quite a few good ones that run on both, though.
            * Bzzzt. Wrong. I've got a LOT of high-end hardware and most of it just magically works now. Try upgrading your kernel.
            * VERY few websites don't work anymore. My bank (Wachovia) switched quite a while
          • A few of your favourite websites (including your net banking) no longer work because of ActiveX, Flash 8 or severe rendering bugs.

            No flame intended, but that's one thing that confounds me - the USA, of all nations, seem to rely on ActiveX-based online banking. Over here in Germany we have developed an online banking standard called HBCI [wikipedia.org] (to be superseded by FinTS [wikipedia.org]), which allows any compliant online banking software to interact with any bank, provided you have a smartcard reader (Linux compatible ones are
      • *IF* Microsoft bundle Virtual PC with Windows, then yes - then they are abusing their monopoly. But if they don't - then no, I don't think they are; they are merely following the market leader (VMWare).
    • Re:Sorry Mac Users (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vought (160908) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:52AM (#15710647)
      It would be nice if someone told the nitwits at Microsoft that there is a Mac Business Unit within the very same company - and that it also sells a product called Virtual PC - BEFORE announcing that "Virtual PC is now free".

      • Re:Sorry Mac Users (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ditoa (952847) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @03:00AM (#15711017)
        In all fairness they never said "Virtual PC is free" they said "Virtual PC 2004 is free" as VPC2004 is Windows only one would hope they could work out only the Windows version is free. As soon as I saw the "2004" bit I realised this was a Windows only freebie. I wouldn't be surprised however if a) Microsoft buy Parallels, everyone talks about Apple doing it but seem blind to the fact MS already has a PPC emulation product and will most likely want to make an Intel based virtualization product, why start from scratch when you can buy a, small and therefore cheap, Russian company who has already done 100% of the work. They will then of course make Parallels free (the client application at least) and do a bundle of Parallels + a Windows license (perhaps even a preconfigured VM as it is possible) and then sell that, perhaps even as a deal with Apple so it comes preinstalled.

    • Why on earth would Mac users expect to get Virtual PC for free? Microsoft is not giving Virtual PC away here, they are bundling it with the O/S.

      That is a smart move and one that Linux distributions should take note of. Xen potentially has a lot to offer here.

      • Re:Sorry Mac Users (Score:3, Informative)

        by nathanh (1214)
        That is a smart move and one that Linux distributions should take note of. Xen potentially has a lot to offer here.

        Red Hat has been bundling Xen for nearly 18 months now.

        Debian has been bundling vserver for nearly 6 months now.

        Sounds to me like Microsoft is playing catchup to the Linux distributions (again).

    • Yup... this is "VPC: Don't Give A Sh*t About Edition".... As opposed to "VPC: You have a PPC Mac & Are Suborn & Desperate Edition".

      Although, Suborn & Desperate Edition is transitioning to "VPC: Mac Don't Give A Sh*t About Edition"
    • Probably because Microsoft had a monopoly on virtualization on OS X until recently so have not felt compelled to undercut the competition. Though there is now some competition in the form of Parallels, so perhaps they'll be cutting their prices there sooner than you can say antitrust, shades of Netscape etc.
  • What is supported (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nemith (114402) <.bennetb. .at. .onewest.net.> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:31AM (#15710579) Homepage
    Check out this link as to what will work on VPC and what won't. http://vpc.visualwin.com/ [visualwin.com]
  • I scoured their pages, and it looks like VPC 2004 is the only "free" one made available.
    VPC 7 for Mac does not appear to be free.

    Any one know otherwise?
    • VirtualPC for Mac is an x86 computer emulator. VirtualPC for Windows is an x86 virtualiser with some peripheral emulation. They share a name, and they may share a small amount of code for things like network interfaces (although since one wraps MacOS hardware interfaces and one wraps Windows interfaces it's not very likely), but they are very different products.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:33AM (#15710584)
    What a bargain!
  • OSS is working (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dryanta (978861) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:41AM (#15710612) Journal
    Microsoft is scared, this is the first time I can ever recall them becoming MORE lax on licensing schemes for a new OS. They're not just scared, they're terrified! This huge industry push to OSS and virtualization could be the end of Microsoft and the tech economy as we know it. Or, they could pull another halfway-decent suite out of their backsides and surprise us. Even if this is the climax of the market share crescendo... at least at the end of the day the poor IT guys stuck in Microsoft solutions will thank us all for it.
    • How could virtualization spell the end of Microsoft and the tech economy as we know it?
    • What a powerful demonstration of exatly how disruptive open source is. As soon as Xen started picking up some steam and press VMware made their server free and now MS not only makes their virtual PC free they also forgo profits on four copies of vista enterprise.

      I can't seem to find how much Ms paid for connectix (anybody know?) but that's millions of dollars Ms spent that they will never make a penny on. Windows 2003 server enterprise cost anywhere from 2500 to 5000 depending on your volume and such, if vi
      • Re:OSS is working (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Wow. You guys are really full of your own self-importance.

        Uhm, no, Microsoft's not doing all that just to compete with Xen. Its real competition is VMware, which already is giving away some of its products away for free. And no, VMware's not doing all that just to compete with Xen either; its real competition is Microsoft.
      • Re:OSS is working (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 0racle (667029) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:32AM (#15710949)
        All that just to compete with Xen.
        No one cares about Xen. Microsoft made a copy of VPC free to drum up business for a product they just bought. VMWare made one of their products free to expand their market, they can even still make money with VMWare server by selling support for it, or when its users realize they need more and upgrade to ESX. Xen exists for some hobbyists.

        What does MS have to worry about with Xen or VMWare for that matter if they give VPC away? You still need to have a valid licence to run Windows on it or VMWare. VMWare has little to worry about too. Where are you going to get support for Xen from? Does Xen even come close to providing what VMWare workstation or ESX can do?

        People are only running scared from OSS in the minds of many Slashdot users and bloggers no one cares about.
        • Re:OSS is working (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @06:12AM (#15711408) Homepage
          Well said.

          Xen cannot run Windows (and 'we swear someone did it in a lab but we can't prove it or tell you how to do it' doesn't count). That means it is *not* a competitor for either VMWare or VirtualPC. In fact there's nothing in the OSS space that is.
        • "No one cares about Xen. Microsoft made a copy of VPC free to drum up business for a product they just bought. "

          What a bunch of crock. MS bought a company that was selling a product and making money on it. Xen directly caused VMware to start giving away one of the products which in turn made it impossible for Ms to recover it's investment in the company they bought.

          "You still need to have a valid licence to run Windows on it or VMWare. "

          Except that they just announced that you don't need to for the first fo
          • Don't you think I did?

            Xen can only run *modified* operating systems. That means ones you can get the source code for.

            The claimed about a year ago to have got Windows XP to run, but have never managed to get it working properly because of course they don't have the Windows source code. Their own FAQ bears this out (oh and the 'we hope to have a version that does it' date keeps changing.. vapourware at its finest).

            Quote: "Currently Xen supports Linux 2.4, 2.6, and NetBSD 2.0."

            Sorry, to be a competitor to V
    • this is the first time I can ever recall them becoming MORE lax on licensing schemes for a new OS
      Not quite, I recall when the first dual processor mobos came out, at first they wanted to aply: one processor = one license. It didn't last long and the relented to one computer = one license, with some limits on number of procs. Currently 2 procs for XP pro, 16 for server and more for datacenter. Of the top of my head, the numbers may have changed.
    • Re:OSS is working (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tim C (15259) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @06:09AM (#15711399)
      This huge industry push to OSS and virtualization could be the end of Microsoft and the tech economy as we know it.

      How can a push to virtualisation - the process of running an OS on "virtual hardware" - possibly be the end of a company that's core business involves selling an OS? Not to mention that most virtualisation products require a host OS in the first place (VMWare's ESX Server is the only one that springs to mind that doesn't, but it certianly still requires at least one guest OS)

      Besides which, the real uses for virtualisation (to my mind) are currently:

      1) Running multiple server OSes on a beefy server
      2) Running an alternative OS for testing or application availability purposes

      In the first instance, you're most likely going to be running server OSes, and I don't see MS changing the licencing terms for any of their Server products any time soon, so that'll still require one licence per VM. In the second instance, the licencing is immaterial, as you only need the one licence anyway.

      Now, a move to OSS I can see being problematic for vendors like MS, but let's be honest here - it's not looking to have made much of a dent in their profits over the last decade or so. Doubtless it will given time, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Ousting a company that is *that* entrenched is no simple matter.
  • by SFSouthpaw (797536) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:45AM (#15710627) Homepage
    If VMWare didn't have a, IMHO, better solution.


    The only reason MS is doing this, is because they are desperately trying to save a business that's in more trouble than Ronald McDonald cartwheeling through Baghdad.

  • by Telcontar (819) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @12:59AM (#15710668) Homepage
    Up to now, one could run as many copies of the OS in virtual machines as one wanted, hardware permitting. Now the limit has been increased from infinity to four, not unlike the chocolate rations in "1984". And the author of the summary does not realize that any more than Winston can avoid his fate...
    • Up to now, one could run as many copies of the OS in virtual machines as one wanted, hardware permitting. Now the limit has been increased from infinity to four,

      Actually no, before you needed one license per virtual machine.

      But now the question I am wondering is:

      Does the new licensing for Vista Enterprise only apply when using Virtual PC, or can you also install up to 4 extra copies when using VMWare's solution?

      If it's only the former, it looks like another case of them abusing their monopoly. I will give t
      • well, the nice thing about vmware is that you can move your stuff around without activation being triggered.

        VirtualPC appears to have been written with OS licensing in mind, so that XP detects when it gets moved around and asks to be re-activated.

        Now, given there is a 'virtual' device that lets code in the VM detect that they are vm-hosted, its possible that MS could maybe insert some logic to stop Vista working properly under vmware, the way they did with Windows under Dr-DOS. But that would stop so many p
  • For some reason I'm reminded of this...

    Tyrell: But all of this is academic. You were made as well as we could make you.
    Roy: But not to last.
    Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very very brightly, Roy. Look at you. You're the prodigal son. You're quite a prize!
    Roy: I've done questionable things.
    Tyrell: Also extraordinary things. Revel in your time!
    Roy: Nothing the god of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for.
    • I Just watched that last night! I was tidying up at home (yeah, it happens sometimes!) and found the DVD.
      Darryl Hannah.. Grrrrooowwlll!
  • Up to four? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by truedfx (802492) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @01:15AM (#15710729)
    Customers who deploy Windows Vista Enterprise have the ability to install up to four (4) copies of the operating system in a virtual machine for a single user on a single device.
    Am I the only one who finds it completely ridiculous that using the software by a single user on a single machine could ever require multiple licenses?
    • Am I the only one who finds it completely ridiculous that using the software by a single user on a single machine could ever require multiple licenses?

      Actually, this doesn't surprise me at all. From MS's point of view, one license == one installation. Period. It doesn't matter how many users are using it, or how many pieces of hardware it's deployed on. Each installation requires a separate license. MS's WGA program only makes this more explicit, since you need a unique activation code (and thus licens
    • It's utterly ridiculous, but they seem to be getting away with it.
    • No, but that's software licensing for you.

      I'm also annoyed by the fact that they are tied to a single device: it seems that because of this you aren't allowed to use the feature of some virtualisation systems that lets you take a virtual machine running on one PC and move it another.
  • So does this mean... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Boap (559344)
    If I buy a five user licence for Vista I can have up to 20 virtual machines on a single system and still be legal?
  • Four times (Score:4, Funny)

    by rbanffy (584143) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @01:16AM (#15710739) Homepage Journal
    Is a box with four VMs running Windows four times more vulnerable to attacks than one running a single Windows instance?

    How fast at sending spam would such a machine be after (about a minute after it's plugged to the internet) being infected by a worm?
  • When they've got a Beowulf cluster... oh shit is it 2006 already? Damn I told the concierge to wake me up in 10 hours... 10 years and this is all we get? Thanks Micro$oft ;-p
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:09AM (#15710882)
    Customers who deploy Windows Vista Enterprise have the ability to install up to four (4) copies of the operating system in a virtual machine for a single user on a single device.

    Interesting. I would have assumed that I could install any number of Vista virtual machines for my use on my single computer -- especially since only one (or two on a dual core) could be considered to be running at the same time. Now Microsoft is telling me only 4. Sure sounds like I'm losing, not gaining, here -- those bastards!

  • Wow, Microsoft is offering 4 licenses of Windows to run in virtualization. Apparently in Ballmer's world, people need to pay more than once to run as many instances of a program on their computer as they want.

    I guess, by that logic, running multiple instances of MS Word, Internet Explorer or any other program on my computer is copyright infringement.

    What a load of crap.

    • I guess, by that logic, running multiple instances of MS Word, Internet Explorer or any other program on my computer is copyright infringement.

      No, but installing multiple instances on your hard disc might be.

      What a load of crap.

      Probably true.
  • First the VMWARE free; now VirtualPC free; one day later.

    One might wish their security department would roll as fast as their customer relations department do ;)
  • by RShizzle (983535) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @02:48AM (#15710992) Homepage
    I've scanned through the number of replies regarding this and I just find a number of fanboys saying this is the triumph of Open Source over the gigantic evil corporation. The fact is, this is a smart move to promote Microsoft technology (VPC) that has had a bad reputation, but has seen steady improvement. VPC isn't so much competition for Xen as much as it for VmWare Workstation. Both VPC and VmWare allow the installation of unmodified operating systems (not so much VPC), whereas Xen requires them to be ported or "enlighted". Tack on the fact that Xen only runs on Linux, and the ported version of XP is unavailable due to copyright issues, and Xen doesn't look like a very realistic solution for the primary uses of virtualization technology, developers testing their software on a different OS, or sysadmins running virtual servers (production, or testing of Windows platforms). Yes, some people do prefer Windows Server 2003 over BSD. VPC on the other had, works well enough for testing on a variety of Windows platforms, will now be free, and is in most cases good enough. The primary reason I can think of why someone would virtualize instances of Vista is to provide RDP access to a sandboxed environment, not to use Vista as a server. VPC and this Vista deal shouldn't be seen as a competitor to Xen. If you're planning on virtualizing instances of a server, especially a Windows Server, VmWare GSX or ESX server would be the only real options. Regarding licensing issues, a virtual machine is exactly that, a virtual representation of a completely different machine. It will show up the the OS as different hardware. Have any of you tried activating an XP installation within VPC or VmWare? It still asks for a new, unique key (unless of course, its a volume license). People question the financial costs of this, that Microsoft will now forgo the revenue on four vista licenses. First of all, many estimate that Vista will retail at as low as $100. There will actually be tighter license restrictions, as there are plans to have an active licensing server for volume licenses, instead of the honor system currently in place (which is often abused). The motivation of this deal isn't to make money, its to promote certain technologies, and to encourage people to convert and stay with the Windows platform. Why does Microsoft give away millions of dollars of software in the form of the MSDN Academic Alliance every year to schools and students? Why does it have an entire "software evangelist" program? It's not to make money in the immediate short term, but to make people convert to Microsoft products, many of which are quite well made. (Anyone play with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server?) Sure, there are open source alternatives but sometimes its easier to click a few buttons on a GUI instead of customizing a .conf file. And, if people convert to the Microsoft way of doing things, they're more likely to purchase the money makers, like Office, or use certain software solutions when making purchasing decisions for their IT department.
    • Xen doesn't look like a very realistic solution for the primary uses of virtualization technology, developers testing their software on a different OS, or sysadmins running virtual servers (production, or testing of Windows platforms).

      1. Anywhere but on Windows, you don't need a copy of another OS on your desktop to do tests.
      2. If you want to run virtual servers, you do care about resource usage. Both the virtualization layer and the OS inside should be as light-weight as possible.

  • I would really like to be able to run Linux virtualized along with my Windows XP.
    Would either this or the free VirtualPC in the other story do the trick?

    I mostly use Windows, but it would be very handy if I could have instant access to my Ubuntu install without the shutdown/reboot cycle to make sure my code still works on the Linux side. I don't even care if the Linux runs dog-slow, as long as it runs.

    I looked at the virtual pc page but my eyes just glazed over with all the marketing speak. Why do they ke
    • by RShizzle (983535)
      Yes, VPC can run a variety of Linux distributions and is very useful for testing code, or having a secondary operating system. See this http://vpc.visualwin.com/ [visualwin.com] for the full list of supported platforms. However, VMware workstation is still much more configurable and powerful (though not free) and will allow you to run almost every x86 operating system completely unmodified.
      • Thanks for the info. I'm trying VirtualPC now, but the ubuntu install is moving veeeeeeeery slowly.

        VMware's site is terribly vague about the difference between the Server product and the Workstation product. About the only thing they say is Workstation has "more features", "advanced features", and "productivity enhancements" that the Server version doesn't.

        Anyone know what's the difference really?
  • If you download enough free beer you will eventually upload.
  • "to install up to four (4) copies of the operating system in a virtual machine for a single user on a single device."

    Whow there, BFD!

    But to quote The Matrix:
    "Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about I give you the finger, and you give me my phone call."

    With other operating systems, the customer has the "ability" (and license) to do *anything* he wants (except redistribution, which might be limited under the GPL).
  • by Fuzuli (135489)
    Well, I don't know why, but everyone seems to forget that Xen will be a huge factor in virtualization soon. As far as I can remember, Xen, will be providing support for running unmodified kernels pretyy soon (actually somewhere around the middle of summer (northern hemisphere)) after intel provides a new set of cpus with some kind of support for it (sorry, forgot the details.)
    Is there something wrong with this info? I thought that it would be one of the greates issues ever, but no one seems to care, or wors
  • by smartin (942) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:35AM (#15711537)
    Isn't Vista already virtual

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