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Microsoft to Work with Xen on Virtualization 151

suso writes "Microsoft has released a statement to the press, saying that they are to work with Xensource on making Windows Server work with Xen through Microsoft's own hypervisor technology." Coverage available from Reuters as well. From that article: " As a result of the collaboration, the next version of Windows Server, code-named 'Longhorn,' will provide customers with a virtualisation system that promises to help run both Windows and Linux on the same machine more cost-effectively. Microsoft said it expects to conduct a public trial of Windows Server virtualisation by the end of this year and to release a commercial version of the software within 180 days of the date when Windows Server 'Longhorn' is released. Microsoft aims to release 'Longhorn' by the end of 2007, it said."
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Microsoft to Work with Xen on Virtualization

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  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    As longas they don't "extend" it with incompatible features, it's the more sensible thing I hear from Microsoft in a long time. Actually, it's the first thing I hear from them in a long time that seems to care about what the customer needs. Kudos for them if they are being serious.
    • Re:Good (Score:4, Funny)

      by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:26AM (#15736798)
      Actually, it's the first thing I hear from them in a long time that seems to care about what the customer needs.

      No, MS has always been good about listening to its customers; sometimes they are slower than customer like, but they do listen. People wouldn't stick with software that wasn't doing what they required of it.
  • by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:40AM (#15736029) Homepage
    Faced with the threat of VMware, they'll cooperate with another underdog in the virtualization market, even if that underdog is a GPL hippie.

    There will be plenty of time to finish off the hippie once VMware is contained, I'm sure they think to themselves.
    • by lyz ( 988147 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:52AM (#15736519) Homepage Journal
      Honestly, I think this has more to do with getting there server product into the datacenter and compeding with (L)Unix then to compete with VMWare. Notice how there is no mention of porting thier desktop OS to xen?
      Due the the viral nature of a Microsoft server, when one gets into the datacenter suddenly you are forced into buying more products from Microsoft since nothing else talks to the freeking thing.
    • by blogchan ( 989554 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:33AM (#15736847)
      What does XenSource get out of this deal ? One of the following:
      • Cash
      • Publicity (which helps an ailing company that recently fired all its executives and has struggled to make a dent on the market even after a full year)
      • Leverage when pushing their VMI interface into linux kernels, over VMwares interface
      • More importantly, behind the scenes deal to add a VMI interface into Windows, along with the licensing agreement. Someone else qutoed from the Xen website that "A port of Windows XP was developed for an earlier version of Xen, but is not available for release due to licence restrictions". To get around antitrust issues, MS will make the interface public eventually, but this wont give VMware enough time to hook into this.
    • Microsoft has been involved with Xen for quite some time. Anyone familar with the Xen project will remember that with Xen 1.x, the researchers were able to run Windows paravirtualized. This could not happen without Microsoft's help. This statement is Microsoft now saying that they will begin using their investment from a few years ago.
    • Uh, VMware was part of the the threat. Other considerations:
      1. MS is giving their own vm software away for free now anyways.
      2. MS was one of the original funders of Xen.
      3. Xen can run Windows now anyways.

      I dont think they're going back to Xen after all these years intending to kill the project they helped birth. Its not some old forogtten nearly aborted freak child. I think MS might be smart enough to realize Xen is the best virtualization technology out there, makes the most use out of existing virtuali
  • And why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:40AM (#15736030) Journal
    Not only does this make M$ money due to the licensing charges, but it also gets its foot in the door in an otherwise Linux/UNIX shop.
    • Re:And why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:51AM (#15736511) Journal
      This is not the first time Microsoft has collaborated with Xen. Xen was developed at Cambridge, which has strong ties with Microsoft. The Xen team was granted access to the Windows XP (I think, possibly 2K) source code, and ported the kernel to run on a previous version of Xen. They were not, of course, allowed to distribute these changes.

      It's all a bit academic now, since Xen can (or will soon be able to; I haven't checked the status of Xen for a while) run Windows on any chip with virtualisation extensions anyway. This is just Microsoft trying to ensure that Windows can run as Domain 0, ensuring that you need one more Windows license for something that NetBSD would do better.

      • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @01:43PM (#15738083)
        > This is not the first time Microsoft has collaborated with Xen.

        No, you were right in your next statements, Cambridge had an XP source license. Microsoft didn't 'collaborate' with Xen except in the sense AT&T 'collaborated' with UCB in creating BSD.

        This is all about Microsoft coming to terms with the coming sea change of hardware virtualization. UP to now they could simply deny teh right to redistribute the updated device drivers and HAL bits to allow NT based kernels to run in Xen, problem solved. But now comes hardware that rewrites the equation. Before it was "Is it in Microsoft's interest to allow NT based kernels to run in Xen?" and the answer was no. But now it will be running in Xen whether Microsoft wants it to or not, but hardware virtualization is going to be slower than running a modified kernel. Linux already has such a modified kernel. So now the question is "Do we allow the benchmarks for XP and Shorthorn running in Xen to suck compared to Linux?"

        > This is just Microsoft trying to ensure that Windows can run as Domain 0, ensuring that you need one more Windows license
        > for something that NetBSD would do better.

        Most certainly, as other posters have pointed out this initial effort is aimed at running Linux-Xen atop Windows, and takes great pains to make clear the opposite stacking order is not being considered. But they will, it is just taking them a bit of time to yield to reality. Corporate behemoths the size of Microsoft don't turn quicky unless BillG or The Embalmer does another "We are gonna fucking kill Netscape". (Yea I know I am mangling two different events for comedic value.)
  • by fireboy1919 ( 257783 ) <rustyp@freeshell.oYEATSrg minus poet> on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:40AM (#15736034) Homepage Journal
    I don't really trust Microsoft's latest version of anything. Most people I know don't either.

    I really prefer Windows Server 2000...and if I can't get that, then the next best thing is 2003. Longhorn is right out.

    Then there's also the matter of Windows Genuine Spyware Disadvantage(TM), which you don't have installed on the old OSes.

    If my option to run Xen is to buy the latest from Microsoft, I'd rather buy those Intel VT chips that will eventually be able to allow Xen to run Windows unmodified.
    • I really prefer Windows Server 2000...and if I can't get that, then the next best thing is 2003.

      Server 2k3 is far more advanced that 2000, if you can't see that in yoru blind paranoia, I really don't know what to tell you.

      Longhorn is right out.

      You haven't even seen it yet, and you're deciding against it? So instead of the best tool for the job, its 'whatever fits my personal beliefs.'

      Then there's also the matter of Windows Genuine Spyware Disadvantage(TM), which you don't have installed on the old OSes.

      • Server 2k3 is far more advanced that 2000

        Exaggerating a little bit are we? I certainly would not say it is "far more advanced". That sounds like MS-Speak (tm). The differences between Win2k server and Win2k3 server are equivalent to about 2 service packs of updates. Nothing major, just some incremental improvements.

        Funny, as you don't have to install it. It comes as a Automatic update, I uncheck the box to tell it not to install, then I check another box telling me not to bother me again. Haven't

      • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @01:12PM (#15737809)
        > Server 2k3 is far more advanced that 2000

        Oh? In what way is 2k3 better than 2000 for server duties? Of course I'd ask how any competent admin can deploy either in an Internet facing role but that is one of those questions "That Must Not Be Asked(TM)" lest Microsoft strike you down. Thankfully I'm one of that 1% who are lucky enough to be operating in a 99% Microsoft Free environment so I can ask such questions with relative impunity. Of course the more correct formulation of the question is "How can an admin be considered 'competent' after deploying a Microsoft OS in an Internet facing environment considering their awful security track record."

        > > Longhorn is right out.

        > You haven't even seen it yet, and you're deciding against it?

        It really isn't required to to see the final version, it will be a subset of the betas (expect more defeaturing before final RTM) and they are bad enough. There isn't anything there for an Enterprise IT shop to even consider a feature, so we can't even move to the part of the sales pitch where features can be sold as a benefit to the customer. Seriously, if Microsoft thinks Enterprise IT depts are going to forklift their entire existing workstation inventory for the dubious 'benefits' of Aero Glass they are stark raving insane. And as for servers, Eh? Tell me again why I want Shorthorn?

        > > Then there's also the matter of Windows Genuine Spyware Disadvantage(TM), which you don't have installed on the old OSes.

        > Funny, as you don't have to install it. It comes as a Automatic update, I uncheck the box to tell it not to install, then I check
        > another box telling me not to bother me again. Haven't heard from it since.

        And you also won't get updates. And next comes the part where you get 0wn3d. Then comes the suffering. And even that probably won't be an option with shorthorn, I really don't expect them to be giving you a choice in the matter unless you are a major corporate install and considering how widely Corporate XP was pirated they will probably be turning the screws there as much as they can get away with.
  • by CaptnMArk ( 9003 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:43AM (#15736053)
    Will Windows run nicely under Xen (and also VMware)

    That's what I want.
    • It *has to* I believe. When you run xen, the "operating system" is xen, everything else runs on top of it. The question is whether Microsoft would need to be the 'privileged' guest or not.
      • by Olmy's Jart ( 156233 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:36AM (#15736406)
        No, that does not appear to be what that press release is saying.

        It's saying that Microsoft will be able to run Xen enabled guests on Windows Server. IOW... They are acting as the Xen hypervisor and can run canned Xen images. I don't see anything in that announcement that gives me any encouragement to believe you will be able to run Windows under the native Xen hypervisor. They're not talking about "running Xen" only "running Xen enabled guests under the Microsoft virtualization". Different critter.

        In fact, reading that release, they seem to have gone to great pains to word it to exclude running Windows as a guest under the Xen hypervisor. It's all spun very carefully, there.
    • Sure, Microsoft is contributing the Blue Screen of Death. They will open the source code for it and Xen will be able to show it as it appears when running natively.

  • In other words... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:46AM (#15736069) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft plans to catch up with Linux when it comes to running a Xen host.

    This will of course benefit Microsoft because without this, people who wanted to run both Linux and Windows on the same hardware using Xen had to use Linux as the host. (they also of course have to have hardware capable of full virtualisation)

    Actually, this _may_ swing things in favour of running windows as the host because for older hardware Xen requires a modified guest. Running linux in Xen on windows allows this because xen modified linux is widely available. Microsoft in the other hand have not and probably will not release Xen-guest enabled windows, despite claiming to support interoperability. It's actually Microsoft style interoperability they want, and as many of us know that only works one way.
  • by NynexNinja ( 379583 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:47AM (#15736075)
    Why would I want to virtualize Linux under Microsoft Windows? The main benefit of linux is a stable kernel versus an unstable kernel (microsoft). I would rather virtualize Windows under Linux, not the other way around.
    • My company is currently working on this. We currently have, in development, a linux box going with Postgresql, and VMWare, win2k3 running in VMware. The reason?
      Our application requires 2 things.
      1: Postgresql (Performs way better on linux than windows for us)
      2: IIS ((ASP.NET), we've tested mono... "it isn't there yet")

      This allows us to ship linux and windows on the same box, and get the advantages of both, without shipping two boxes.
    • by Phishcast ( 673016 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:18AM (#15736284)
      The main benefit of linux is a stable kernel versus an unstable kernel (microsoft)

      Replace "unstable" with bloated or proprietary and I'll agree. The stability/BSOD arguments against Windows don't really carry that much weight any more.

      • Huh. and here I was thinking that the main benefit of Linux was the POSIX subsystem that allows you to build most open source software natively (thus, costing only time), giving you solutions that would otherwise cost you time AND money.
      • The stability/BSOD arguments against Windows don't really carry that much weight any more.

        I disagree. As a workstation, Windows XP is fairly stable, however it is prone to resource depletion over time and weird problems that can only be solved by a reboot. I agree it is stable enough for most people, but it is certainly not as robust as running Linux. When you consider if the host goes down both so do the clients, but if a client goes down other clients and the host need not, the stability of the host be

        • All true, but at least it doesn't bluescreen when you plug in a USB scanner on stage for the world to see. :-)
          In fact it doesn't bluescreen that much at all any more. At least in many cases (as a user desktop) you can do a last ditch save before reboot rather than losing all your RAM only data. I agree that it is not ready for the Virtualization host yet though.
      • Windows generally has to reboot more often for security updates due to the nature of the VFS layer on Windows. A lightweight NetBSD Domain 0 would be more 'stable' than Windows, since you would have to reboot the domain 0 host less frequently, and every time you reboot the domain 0 host, you need to reboot all of the domain U guests.
        • In my opinion the host os should be locked down and no services should be offered through it other than virtualization. In that setup one would not need to install patches very often. Obviously a firewall should be setup to block incoming traffic to the host os, etc. This applies to any os used to host others.

          In this situation its entirely possible to run windows for a solid year or so before a reboot as long as the virtualization software handles resources well. You could make an argument that a BSD co
      • Windows also has problems entering hibernation mode on workstations using more than 1Gb of memory. [] To diminish our electric bills, we have taken to hibernating our workstations when leaving for the evening. On workstations with over 1Gb of memory this no longer possible once any serious work has taken place and the memory has become fragmented. When running windows inside Vmware under Linux this isn't a problem.
        • When running windows inside Vmware under Linux this isn't a problem.

          It seems to me that once the hotfix is applied, it isn't a problem under native Windows either. But maybe you're not "severely affected" by the problem.
        • have you tried calling them and getting the hotfix? A hotfix call to MS is a free call. Have the kb number handy, call xp support, they ultimately will email you a url to a password protected zip file.
          • Microsoft refuses to supply the hotfix if Windows is an OEM installation. They say call the OEM. After spending 8 hours on the phone, I've found it easier to install Linux+Vmware. This bug has been out for over 9 months. With the growing number of systems using more than 1Gb, you'd think Microsoft would have elevated it from a limited issue hotfix to a patch downloadable uing windows update. You'd be wrong...
      • "Replace "unstable" with bloated or proprietary and I'll agree. The stability/BSOD arguments against Windows don't really carry that much weight any more."

        That's right. Windows never crashes anymore. It also never needs a reboot anymore. Furthermore it's no longer vulnerable to any kind of hacks, viruses, or malware.

        That was all in 98. Windows hasn't crashed since NT. Ever. Not even once.
    • by Frumious Wombat ( 845680 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:27AM (#15736344)
      Because if done right, you'll use Windows as the host, because the Windows functionality you need will run sufficiently better, and Microsoft sells another license. Or, you run Linux as a the host, but think warm thoughts about Microsoft because they put money into Xen, buy another license, and Microsoft gets your money as well.

      Basically, it's to capture mindshare, prevent datacenters from migrating their Windows systems to Linux hosts when they start running virtualization, and ensuring that, even if you are primarily a Linux-type, you're still paying Microsoft. When you're that big, every extra dollar counts towards proving to Wall Street that you're still growing. There's a lot of money to be made in Virtualization, by ensuring that your OS (Vista/Windows 2007-and-Counting Server) is the host everywhere, rather than the client. If you also sell client licenses for older versions of the OS, for people with apps that can't migrate, so much the better.
    • I would rather virtualize Windows under Linux, not the other way around.

      You and almost everyone else, but this is MS we're dealing with here. Running Windows under Linux undercuts MS's lock-in strategy. Given the choice of either, customers would choose the more secure, stable OS for the host, which means MS would have to make Windows secure and stable to compete and that just isn't the way they do things. Instead they plan to make it easy for you to run Linux under Windows, but not the other way around,

      • I Realy don't understand!
        This is Pure Ego. In both cases MS sells One License for a Server OS (and any additional Client licenses if Terminal Server is used) So why should it matter if Linux or Windows is the Host? They should enable Both. Having only one option may eliminate potential sales and does not make marketing sense.

      • actually, there are WAY too many Windows sites where the employees don't know anything else and will ALWAYS go to Microsoft first. I've seen this a couple times recently. When I told them of VMware, showed them how it worked, and explained why it's better to run a trimmed down Linux as the host, they went to Microsoft instead. Their first reaction was to find out what the Microsoft solution was( I told them they had something ) and then they'd install it from their MSDN CD on a new computer running Windows
        • So Microsoft already has a leg up on the competition and ANYTHING they can do to keep their customers from 'finding' Linux means they'll keep purchasing Microsoft products above all others.

          Most people use and will continue to use Windows because it is the pre-installed OS on nearly every computer. VM technologies allow Linux to gain popularity without overcoming this. It would be easy for an OEM to differentiate their products by running Linux with Windows in a hosted VM. The computer would have better

          • You are correct, OEMs could do this but they won't because Microsoft will threaten to 're-evaluate' their licensing contracts, etc if they do install Linux VMs. I just heard from a former HP manager that he's seen 2 Linux projects terminated because of how they would have financially effected other Microsoft Windows based productlines. And this happened after 2000 and Microsoft had already been found guilty of using its monopoly in operating systems to limit competition.

            It could happen outside of the large
    • Microsoft changed their licensing structure so that if you run Server 2003 Enterprise, four VM's of equal or lessor license are free. That effectively caused my company to drop VMWare ESX servers and switch to Virtual Server (VMwares free version counts under this license change as does Xen when it arrives for windows). We estimate saving an average of ~$2700 per server and consolidating to 25% overall physical servers. I don't know how MS is getting this past DOJ, but it is a hell of a deal and almost comp
      • The big difference between ESX and virtual server is in the VM management - with VirtualCenter and a SAN, you can move running VMs between hosts, to redistribute load, or for maintenance. Granted, VirtualCenter is yet another piece of expensive software to buy. I'd guess there are still advantages to running ESX on its own, compared to Virtual Server, in that it runs on bare hardware, with (presumably) less overhead than running a full version of windows with VMs on top of it. ESX is also braindead simple
    • by jefu ( 53450 )
      I teach and sometimes use a projector to make the screen of my laptop visible to the class. This is not so much a powerpoint type thing as a way to show code - and most of my code is built in linux. I use linux normally, but for some reason the projector doesn't seem to like the linux video out. Under Windows the same resolution seems to work ok. So, I use VMWare to virtualize linux under windows in order to get the projector to play nice. Works just fine.
  • Wasn't longhorn the codename for windows 95. I think it's already been released.
  • by pesc ( 147035 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:56AM (#15736135)
    So MS realises that not all people will migrate from Linux to Windows. So should they offer a MS Linux?


    Instead they will offer a hypervisor. And make sure that most Linux distributions run fine under that. To help you make the decision to run Linux under a MS hypervisor, the hypervisor will offer better access to some hardware (wireless, modems, 3D graphics, DRM stuff, etc) that has no OS drivers.

    Once people get used to running Linux under Windows, MS has a half victory. Now they can control how well Linux solutions run compared to running "natively on Windows".

  • Exciting? (Score:3, Informative)

    by smvp6459 ( 896580 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @09:58AM (#15736149)
    It seems like the logical direction of Xen's progression.

    From the creator of Xen's website "A port of Windows XP was developed for an earlier version of Xen, but is not available for release due to licence restrictions" ex.html []

    The only thing standing in the way of Xen's running Microsoft's products is Microsoft.
    • Re:Exciting? (Score:2, Informative)

      by beardz ( 790974 )

      From the creator of Xen's website "A port of Windows XP was developed for an earlier version of Xen, but is not available for release due to licence restrictions"

      The only thing standing in the way of Xen's running Microsoft's products is Microsoft.

      Not even that is standing in the way of Xen running M$ operating systems anymore, if you have the right hardware.

      Taken from the Xen FAQ [] :

      1.4. Does Xen support Microsoft Windows?
      The paravirtualized approach we use to get such high performance has not b

  • and we all know what happened from Windows NT4 to Windows 2000 to Windows XP on RDP, right? Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. Although Xen would be lucky to survive after Vista server is launched.
  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:00AM (#15736162) Homepage
    This is interesting from the standpoint that Xen is a hypervisor. So what does exactly does "between Xen(TM)-enabled Linux and the new Microsoft® Windows® hypervisor technology-based Windows Server® virtualization". Does this mean that the Xen hypervisor will boot a MS hypervisor or am I missing something? Shouldn't MS strive to make Longhorn a proper Xen-aware guest O/S? Maybe this is just marketing speak, but it doesn't sound correct.
    • by Korgan ( 101803 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:21AM (#15736310) Homepage
      Nono... Its the other way around. The Linux community can now make the GNU/Linux kernel, with Xen technology, Hypervisor aware. This allows Windows to host Linux based platforms much easier.

      Think of it in terms of getting the Xen folks to make sure that the next Linux kernel works 100% inside "VirtualPC 2007" by allowing them direct access to the Hypervisor subsystem of a Windows Longhorn machine.

      The intention being that Windows Longhorn will host a Linux based server better than VMWare. This forces VMWares hand significantly. Its one thing to give away a product for free. This is a whole 'nother level.

      Given Bill Gates is a poker lover, you could almost call this is a raise and a call.
  • ...the next version of Windows Server, code-named 'Longhorn'...
    I strongly suspect that I've missed something somewhere; Anyone else feeling a bit dazed?
    • Both Windows Vista and the next Windows Server are codenamed 'Longhorn', the same way both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 were codenamed 'Whistler' - it's really the same OS underneath all the branding and focusing. The official name for 'Longhorn Server' hasn't been announced yet (I'm guessing it'll just be Windows Server 2007 or 2010 or whenever).
  • by oprig ( 701429 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:08AM (#15736221)
    There's a pdf on the Xensource website with information on how to install Windows Server 2003 right now. You do need a VT enabled Intel or AMD-V system though:

    xensource []

  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:11AM (#15736235) Homepage
    Wolf to work with sheep on dinner.

  • "Microsoft aims to release 'Longhorn' by the end of 2007"

    Just like they aimed to release it last year, and this year, and before christmas...

    Ah, bashing microsoft is so much fun!
    • Microsoft aims to release 'Longhorn' by the end of 2007

      Typical for a corporation. Billions of dollars for marketing and not willing to shell out those 500 bucks that could buy them a decent scope to actually hit what they aim for...
  • "So There Is No Need For You (non-controllable GPL/OSS hippies) To Scratch It, Get Famous For It, Release A TarBall Nobody Can Stifle With Corporate Wrangling. We'll Do It For You."
  • The latest processors from Intel and AMD have hardware virtualization technology that would enable Xen to run Windoze without any OS modifications. Xen doesn't really need Microsoft's "support" to get Windoze and Linux running together.
  • I'm not down with it. Actually, I'm not sure I'd be down with it even if it were Windows under Linux. I think it's all getting pretty irrelevant. Still, I'd be just a little shocked to see Microsoft make a Xen Windows kernel allowing Windows to be run Under Linux. I wouldn't use it, but I imagine there are many who would.
  • It's like this:

    1) Microsoft announces 'free' Virtual PC for free. Yawn. We're already down the street on this one. Yes, instances of Virtual Server are cool. Move along, please.
    2) VMWare announces 'free' VMWare Server-- a while after their other free stuff is announced; a nice embarrassment for Microsoft, who lags miserably here.
    3) SUSE comes out with Xen; proving once again that it's as fragile as any code made with toothpicks. Really: this stuff explodes into little bits if you're not careful.
    4) Microsoft
  • This is Microsoft we are talking about here so the excercise is to figure out how this will be played out.

    Will Microsoft take what they learn from 'working' with Xen and use it in their own product( Sybase SQL, Wang DDE, Sun JAVA, etc )?

    Will Microsoft find ways to break Xen or cripple it so that the Microsoft product works better?

    Or, is Faust making snowballs and Microsoft is really working to make a competing technology work better when at the same time they are working to release their own product which s
    • And what's with them calling the Server "Longhorn"? Have they not already announced the product is called Vista? Is this a trick to separate how they 'work' with Xen now but release something different in Vista Server? Will it be used to manipulate the public/press perception? Or do they really not have a name for the product yet and still use "Longhorn" in press releases?

      It's been Longhorn & Longhorn server from the beginning. Longhorn is now Vista, Longhorn Server doesn't have a product name yet.

      • ah, thanks. I can see that now. They talk about including their Xen^H^H^H Microsoft based hypervisor in the next Windows server in late 2007 and will ship the Xen VM image support 180 days after that. And with this late date, they don't know if it'll be called Vista Server 2007 or Vista Server 2008. Longhorn Server covers that til they can figure it out.

        Again, thanks for pointing this out. I should have seen this.

  • Xen and Microsoft (Score:2, Interesting)

    by requim ( 174679 )
    It should be noted, since no one else seems to have brought up the point, but Xen was originally partly funded by Microsoft. The original history of Xen had it running on both Red Hat Linux and Windows XP. IIRC They used the Shared Source program available to educators to access the source and at the time XP was enabled as a Xen hypervisor client, I don't believe it could act as the hypervisor at the time though.

    I quote from the xen development website: A port of Windows XP was developed for an earlier []
  • will it run Linux?
  • Microsoft 'working closely with' someone means 'Microsoft strongarming someone'.
    In this case, its probably to ensure that Linux performance is artificially crippled by Xen until it is worse than Windows performance under Xen.

  • This letter to The Reg sums it up quite nicely.


    The faithful gather to worship at the altar of Ballmer in Boston. Perhaps we missed the importance of Microsoft's relationship with its partners. You were quick to set us straight:

    I find your lack of faith...disturbing. Microsoft understands the importance of third-party developers, and in fact has opened new markets to some, the anti-virus vendors for example.

    No business I have dealt with has ever treated its third-party partners so kindly and solicito
  • by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:27PM (#15737409)
    I said it before and I'll obviously have to say it hundreds more, the OS wars are over.

    Microsoft is a software bussiness. All they care about is that you have and are paying for their software.

    People in the past could only run one OS at a time. Multibooting doesn't count. Even if you multibooted you were still running the same OS 95% of the time. Multibooting was an alternative to buying multiple machines. Now with virtualization microsoft no longer competes with any other operating system, be it Linux or Mac OS. They will all run side by side.

    You ain't seen nothing yet, just wait until microsoft creates more windows versions and they each become more distinct such as (gasp!) windows server without a GUI interface.

    All they need now is one application you can't live without to compel you buy the OS. In fact computer 'games' literally are right now the killer app for windows but I don't expect that to remain so for long. You'll probably need a seperate version of Media Center edition if you want to play DRM'd music and movies. Microsoft can now tailer make versions of windows bundled with their own software that will appeal to dozens of market segments. The one key advantage of virtualization is that they can give up on trying to keep windows so compatable in the future. Vista will in a sence be the last version of windows burdened by legacy compatability issues. It also means a quicker release schedule and more upgrade versions.

    It's just a completely different game. Get your mind out of the past and wrap you mind around the future.
    • Spot on. Operating systems as we know them are going to split into two different animals. One will become a stub on which applications run, bundled right along with the application. So for example when you buy Adobe Illustrator, there is a version of Windows bundled right along with that, and all you do is plug the whole thing into your virtualizing host. Sounds great at first, but...

      The other type of OS will be the hosting OS. Microsoft is positioning itself so that it becomes impractical to run a non-Mic

  • The FAQ [] on the XenSource [] site make it pretty clear that the result of this partnership will be a commercial product. Specifically, one that does hypercall translation from the Xen ABI to the Microsoft Hypervisor ABI.

    The Xen ABI is based on a "hypercall page". This is essentially a table of function stubs. The default hypercall page just does hypercalls for each stub. I presume that XenSource is building a special plugin for the Windows hypervisor that offers a Xen hypercall page to the guest. That page

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