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Microsoft Businesses

VMware-Microsoft Battle Looming 258

An anonymous reader writes "VMWare released a white paper detailing its concerns with license changes on Microsoft software that may limit the ability to move virtual-machine software around data centers to automate the management of computing work. Two choice quotes: '"Microsoft is looking for any way it can to gain the upper hand," said Diane Greene, the president of VMware.' And, '"This seems to be a far more subtle, informed and polished form of competitive aggression than we've seen from Microsoft in the past," said Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University. "And Microsoft has no obligation to facilitate a competitor."'"
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VMware-Microsoft Battle Looming

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  • uh, news... (Score:4, Funny)

    by cosmocain ( 1060326 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:43AM (#18150660)
    ...Microsoft is using dirty strategies to fight a competitor. Films at 11.
    • Bring it on. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plierhead ( 570797 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:10AM (#18150788) Journal
      Bring it on Microsoft.

      Pissing off the suits that run large data centers and have drunk the virtualization koolaid might just backfire big time for MS. When those execs realise that linux is free to virtualize they'll have a TCO factor bigger than anyone can hide sitting right in front of them. Microsoft will be shafting themselves if they try preventing virtualization.
  • Everybody now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by myopiate ( 966219 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:54AM (#18150708) Homepage
    (chorus) Switch to GNU/Linux.
    • Re:Everybody now (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ocbwilg ( 259828 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:23AM (#18151152)
      (chorus) Switch to GNU/Linux.

      You know, I toyed with the idea of modding your post down as overrated, but then I thought that it made more sense to explain why rather than just do it. To put it simply, not everybody can switch to GNU/Linux for their datacenters. In a lot of vertical markets the only products available (or at least the best products available) run on Windows. Even if there may be a reasonable GNU/Linux alternative available there can be a significant barrier to entry in the form of long-term contracts, or an entrenched user base numbering in the thousands. Let's be realistic here, for many companies (especially larger companies, the type that are most likely to use virtualization) it's not simply a matter of swapping out Vista and Office for Ubuntu and OpenOffice, and then tying it together with OpenLDAP on the back end.

      In my case I work for a software company that develops enterprise application software that is used by most banks, insurance companies, and large manufacturers. We actually started as a Unix-only application, but eventually we had to start developing for Windows simply because that's what the market place demanded. Now we develop and support on both platforms. Our in-house datacenter is heavily virtualized, and our servers are split roughly 50% Windows and 50% Linux/UNIX. Phasing out Windows in our case would not only be incredibly stupid, it would literally kill the company.

      Don't get me wrong, OSS is great. We use it a lot, and it has it's place. But it is not some sort of magic bullet, and it definitely is not the answer to every IT-related question.
  • Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:54AM (#18150712)
    "This seems to be a far more subtle, informed and polished form of competitive aggression"

    Just wait a bit - I'm sure that by the time it hits the front page and the dust settles, it will prove to only be another example of the heavy-handed recidivism we've all come to expect out of redmond. MS can't innovate...can't spot new markets...can't ignore a plum in someone else's grasp, without the targeting systems being brought online. '...Microsoft has no obligation to facilitate a competitor'

    As has been said in the past - investing in MS is asking to have your own money used against you in the marketplace.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scsirob ( 246572 )
      MS may not have an obligation to facilitate it's competitors, but they are damn well obliged to facilitate their customers.

      Since MS wants to play in the high-end comuting environment, they must play nice with the computing wishes of these demanding users or they will be dropped like a hot potatoe by datacenters. VMWare is currently the only real game in town for datacenter consolidation, MS Virtual Server and XEN are waaay behind.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnalre ( 323830 )
        Actually I thought ever since MS was found to be a de-facto monopoly they did in fact have a legal requirement to help there competitors. For example anti-virus firms, even though MS has its own MS product,
        • I think you mean they have a legal requirement not to unfairly hinder their competitors, not that that changes anything. The monopoly conviction and subsequent "punishment" were a slap on the wrist.

          I've come to feel that the net effect of Microsoft's business practices is the same as those of the **AA, it is as if they hate their customers, because they are more concerned with attack their competition that serving the customers.

          Of course, in the case of the **AA, they really do hate their customers but tha
      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
        or they will be dropped like a hot potatoe by datacenters

        Ah... another graduate from the Dan Quayle school of spelling.
  • Microsoft is pissing everyone off again. I'm running Vista Home Premium here on my Mac under vmware because I've got an app that I need to run once in a blue moon. I tried Crossover, but it doesn't work reliably for me. But like as if I'm going to spend $AUD 700 for Vista ultimate for a bunch of features I could care less about.
    • Microsoft is pissing everyone off again. I'm running Vista Home Premium here on my Mac under vmware because I've got an app that I need to run once in a blue moon.

      Why don't you use XP? Do share with us the vista-specific app you must run on your mac.

      I tried Crossover, but it doesn't work reliably for me. But like as if I'm going to spend $AUD 700 for Vista ultimate for a bunch of features I could care less about.

      Hold on. $AUD? I thought Australians said couldn't care less?
      • >Why don't you use XP? Do share with us the vista-specific app you must run on your mac.

        It's not Vista specific. But more than likely, in three years time, the latest version of this app WILL be Vista specific. And since I had to buy a version of Windows, and I'll be damned if I want to give MS more money in three years time, I bought Vista. What is your attitude problem?

        >Hold on. $AUD? I thought Australians said couldn't care less?

        Huh??? I couldn't care less about the features of Windows Ultimate. Da
    • Boo hoo.

      You have a nice Mac. It runs lots of things nicely. You can use Parallels if you absolutely must run the app. If the app only runs in Vista and not in prior editions of the OS, that would be the first one of those that I've seen.

      Just because your Mac won't run VIsta is no fault of the Mac, or VIsta. It's merely a lack of convenience specifically for you.

      Use Parallels or just reboot and stop whining. If you're this easily pissed off, please seek professional help.
      • >Just because your Mac won't run VIsta is no fault of the Mac,
        >or VIsta. It's merely a lack of convenience specifically for you.

        Ahh, but it does run Vista under vmware. Perfectly fine in fact.
        What it doesn't run is MS's brain dead licence agreement.

        Do try brushing up on your comprehension skills, which are also brain
        dead.
        • And so you have to pony up a few more bucks to buy Ultimate instead of home. Go on eBay or CL and find a Saturday night special tinker toy that runs XP. Problem solved for less than US$100.

          One more time: boo hoo. Try Parallels. You might like it. It would go well with your w(h)ine. Yeah, the restrictive license sucks. But those that make the software get to call the tune whether we as consumers like it or not. The way to get them, and the only way to get them, is to not buy the stuff. The only place where t
  • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:58AM (#18150732) Journal

    Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor

    I wonder if he has judicial ambitions.

    • I wonder if he has judicial ambitions.

      Who cares?

      What's far more interesting is that someone can fashion a construct like quasinominative determinism and use it in a Slashdot article. ;-)
  • Not news (Score:4, Informative)

    by paganizer ( 566360 ) <thegrove1@@@hotmail...com> on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:59AM (#18150740) Homepage Journal
    It's not as if anyone in charge of a datacenter is going to be foolish enough to run Vista; most places that require things to work have a predominance of Windows 2000 server, with a few win2k3, Win NT4 and OS/2 boxes.
    banks and government won't touch it; heck, the U.S. Military made it a criminal offense to run Windows XP on a secured network, until microsoft bribed them with a few thousand essentially free licenses.
    • Or Wine. We use Wine to run an obscure piece of Windows crapware written by a company that's out of business. The current Wine versions are surprisingly good. If shifting off Windows is being held back by one piece of crapware, it's really really worth seeing if you can beat Wine into running it.
  • No VMs? Fine. (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by bmo ( 77928 )
    Then I guess Ballmer sees no profit in people running Windows in Parallels, either.

    Isn't one customer's money as good as another? I guess not.

    The management of Microsoft is so myopic and short sighted they can be declared legally blind.

    --
    BMO
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      microsoft, with its billions, is blind in making strategic business decisions, but you, some slashdot postager, is the one who truly understands what is best for microsoft's business. right.
      • by bmo ( 77928 )
        "microsoft, with its billions, is blind in making strategic business decisions, but you, some slashdot postager, is the one who truly understands what is best for microsoft's business. right"

        You do realize that Microsoft used to brag about adding a feature because a _single_ customer asked for it, correct?

        What, exactly, happened between then and now that made the customer wrong?

        --
        BMO
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by mgblst ( 80109 )
          Microsoft got bigger, Windows got more complicated with already so many features, one customer became less important as they got bigger, and no doubt that more than one customer asked for something stupid or impossible.
    • by babbling ( 952366 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:42AM (#18151262)
      This is evil-genius-style clever.

      If Microsoft used the license agreement against Virtual Machines at the same time as releasing their own, they'd get into legal trouble. Legal trouble is a pain in the neck, so what they're doing is saying that "Virtual Machines are a security flaw" and banning them from the operating system. Then, later on, as a complete coincidence Microsoft is going to create "a Virtual Machine that is safe". Luckily for them, the coincidence that they have crafted doesn't involve any competitors!
      • by Watson Ladd ( 955755 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:50AM (#18151652)
        And when has Microsoft ever made something safe? Their solution to buffer overruns is not ASLR(address space layout randomization) but making all programs run in a VM. This doesn't work as a lot of apps still will use unmanaged code and a lot of flaws exist in the security model of the VM. In over 30 years of work on the security model of Unix people still discover flaws, especially in X11. Microsoft only had a security model 7 years old, still in flux, and we are supposed to trust it? They have a horrible track record on security. For them to say that VM's are a security risk is hypocritical considering that .Net is a VM. And for them to say that they make something more secure then the completion would be laughable.
  • by Vskye ( 9079 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:10AM (#18150786)
    Same old Microsoft. They can't invent crap anymore, so when a company such as VMware comes out with something that works, is innovative, MS does what they do what they always do best..., restrict the competition. I hate MS just like most /. users, but just once I'd like to see them actually create something original. (yep.. and like that will happen anytime soon)
  • by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:29AM (#18150878)
    I'm confused here, maybe some of you poeple who use virtual machines (more than me) can help me out. I've posted a few questions and points I am either interested in, or do not understand..

    =============

    Where is the boundary between a "virtual machine" and a "real one"?

    After all, the BIOS is definately part of the machine/motherboard and thats SW. If there is another layer of SW inbetween your OS and you HW why should that be any different? I would treat a "virtual" machine as essentially the same as a "real" one - surely in the eyes of the law they must be the same, no?

    M$ changing the license restrictions seems as though they are essentialy stepping outside the OS box and determining the physical HW you are and are not allowed to run on. Whats the legal situation here, has this been tried and testing in a court?

    Can they actually prevent any version of Windows from running in a VM if that version of Windows cannot detect it?

    At the end of they day if a court rules a VM and a real PC are legally the same, where would that leave M$?

    • by ocbwilg ( 259828 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:09AM (#18151088)
      Can they actually prevent any version of Windows from running in a VM if that version of Windows cannot detect it?

      If it cannot detect the VM then technically, no. But they can legally, then when it comes time to do a license audit they will discover how the licensed software is being used, and you can get dinged.

      But I wouldn't put too much faith into them being unable to detect whether they're running in a VM. We were trying to install SP2 to SQL Server 2005 last week on a machine that was runnig on VMWare ESX, and the install failed repeatedly. When we checked the logs there were entries that specifically stated that the SP couldn't be installed in a virtualized environment. So it's certainly detectable. There were some recent articles at the ISC about malware that could detect if it was running in a virtual environment, and there are a number of reliable ways of doing so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        So it's certainly detectable. There were some recent articles at the ISC about malware that could detect if it was running in a virtual environment, and there are a number of reliable ways of doing so.

        VMWare doesn't make any attempt at hiding the fact that you're running in a virtual machine. Where did you get the idea that it did? For example, if you're running a Linux guest, just take a look at the dmesg output after bootup and count the number of times you see VMWare in the list. Go into the Windows

        • by Tarwn ( 458323 )
          I wonder if that is still the case when your running an image on virtualized hardware? We have an old crusty server running some legacy software that is bound to the hardware it is running on. The cojmpany that we purchased that software from no longer exists and our customers keep telling us it is vital to operations and still better than the 3 or 4 revisions all the competition has gone through.
          Solution? Virtualize the machine with VMWare. Apparently there is an option to virtualize the hardware to keep t
        • by ocbwilg ( 259828 )
          VMWare doesn't make any attempt at hiding the fact that you're running in a virtual machine. Where did you get the idea that it did?

          I didn't. The post that I responded to asked:

          "Can they actually prevent any version of Windows from running in a VM if that version of Windows cannot detect it?"

          I responded that it's certainly possible to detect that a machine is virtualized, and cited two examples. It sucks when you actually have to read and comprehend at the same time, eh?
      • by Excors ( 807434 )

        VMware engineers also don't put any faith [blogspot.com] into being able to hide the fact that the guest OS is virtualised. When there are unavoidable holes like timing differences, there's no value in hiding some of the other avoidable holes.

        But now they have an answer to the question "congratulations, you now know you're on a VMware Workstation 4.5 VM. What are you going to do about it?"

    • It leaves them to restrict a OS license to a single virtual machine.
    • As usual, it depends. Microsoft seems to like to think that with OEM versions of Windows, they're licensing it to you on a "per system" basis. As in physical system. With VMware Workstation on that system, you could run 4 copies of Windows, all at once, and still have it be on ONE physical system.

      It's down - again, of course - to Microsoft wanting to have their cake and eat it too. They want to license Windows to you on a per-system basis, and prevent you from running it however you want on that one sys
  • Not a lawyer, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by julesh ( 229690 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:52AM (#18150974)
    ... I do know a little legal theory, and it occurs to me that:

    a) the passage that denies permission to run Vista Home et al in a VM is rather ambiguous, in that it could just be a clarification that the rule that allows you to run the higher-end versions in a virtual machine *at the same time* as a real machine doesn't apply. I'd really like to here official comment from MS's lawyers about how they intended this to be interpreted, and so far I haven't seen any.

    b) Even if the ambiguity is only small, it still seems to be there to me, and the rule of contra proferentem [wikipedia.org] should mean it is interpreted in the consumer's favour.

    c) It might not make a difference anyway. As I understand it (and I'll admit my understanding of this area is rather fuzzy, because it is a very obscure corner of contract law that I've only heard about once, so I could be completely wrong), for a contract term to be enforceable, one or the other party must derive some legitimate benefit from it. I don't see what legitimate benefit MS derive from restricting the use of their products in this fashion.
    • by Pofy ( 471469 )
      >I'd really like to here official comment from MS's lawyers about how
      >they intended this to be interpreted, and so far I haven't seen any.

      Wouldn't it be more interesting to see how, for example, a court would interpret it?

      >Even if the ambiguity is only small, it still seems to be there to me,
      >and the rule of contra proferentem should mean it is interpreted in the
      >consumer's favour.

      Yes, many countries have consumer contract term laws that specifically says that any vague term should always be
    • I can't see the ambiguity. Believe me, I've been trying to think of one. It says you can't run them in a VM. Pretty clear. The only hope I can see is ambiguity in what a VM actually is, although I'm not sure I could actually get away with that in court either, especially when you are running it in "VM"ware.
      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

        I can't see the ambiguity. Believe me, I've been trying to think of one

        Vista Home:

        You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system.

        Ie: it is written to indicate that if you have an existing Vista license that has been assigned to a piece of hardware, you can't reuse that Vista license to install it in a VM (running on the same hardware). But what if you have a Vista license that *isn't* assigned to a piece of hardware ?

        Compared to Vi

  • by rdean400 ( 322321 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @05:57AM (#18150998)
    to facilitate a competitor (that is, to make changes to its software so that a competitor's software will run). It does, however, have the moral and legal obligation as a monopoly to not change its license in anti-competitive means.

    If VMWare can show that it's as much about anti-competition as it is anti-piracy, they have a valid argument.
    • by bit01 ( 644603 )

      If VMWare can show that it's as much about anti-competition as it is anti-piracy, they have a valid argument.

      VM's allow OS' to be treated as just another application. Why should OS-application vendors have any special legal privileges compared to every other software package vendor on the planet? Most software packages are already running in a virtual environment - the OS.

      If somebody wrote a package that allowed, e.g. an M$Word instance to be snapshot and reanimated on another machine, could M$ be leg

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vhogemann ( 797994 )
      The funny thing is... VMWare actually adds value to Windows.

      I think that this is a very bad move from Microsoft... as usual, they can't be satisfied with just a piece of the pie, they want everything. VMWare is a mature application, that adds real value to their product. If people can't use VMWare + Windows probably they'll switch to VMWare+Linux, or KVM, or Xen.

      What if Microsoft's Virtual PC just don't catch on? They're risking to loose this entire virtualization market to Linux, both as host and guest OS.
  • Steven A. Ballmer, Microsofts chief executive, said, "Everybody in the operating system business wants to be the guy on the bottom...."
    (From the referenced article)

    Everybody would love if Microsoft reached the absolute rock-bottom of the Operating System business... and with people like Ballmer in charge, that goal shouldn't be far off!

    PS: Sarcasm and humour impaired are advised to read this post with caution.
  • by Caspian ( 99221 )
    It was a good run. Seriously-- once MS decides to push you out of the market, you're as good as dead.

    Example 1: WinCE vs. PalmOS
    Example 2: Xbox 360 vs. Playstation 3
    Example 3: Internet Explorer vs. Netscape
    Example 4: Doubledisk/doublespace vs. Stacker
    Example 5: Windows vs. OS/2

    etc. etc. etc. Sometimes, it takes a while-- like how they're still struggling to make MSN relevant-- but, in the end, they always get what they want. They simply have too much money-- and, therefore, too much clout-- not to.
    • If you're running multiple OSes (linux, solaris, windows etc) you may WANT an independant player for your VM, in order to give you flexibility. Not to say MS can't make some progress pushing their way in, but it's not so easy for MS any more. The days of double space etc, are long gone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by -noefordeg- ( 697342 )
      I don't catch your point...

      In two weeks we (I and someone else from my company) are going to VMWare presentation.
      We are already using VMWare, but currently only for testing. Our plan is to move several systems over to a few new servers (from Dell) running VMWare with Linux guest OS's.
      Why is VMWare doomed?
      I can't see the connection between anything MS does and what VMWare get from us...

      Right now, we've got one computer left here running Windows. The rest are all OSX or Ubuntu.
      • by jbarr ( 2233 )

        I don't catch your point...

        In two weeks we (I and someone else from my company) are going to VMWare presentation.
        We are already using VMWare, but currently only for testing. Our plan is to move several systems over to a few new servers (from Dell) running VMWare with Linux guest OS's.
        Why is VMWare doomed?
        I can't see the connection between anything MS does and what VMWare get from us...

        Right now, we've got one computer left here running Windows. The rest are all OSX or Ubuntu.

        In your case, it's a non-issue

      • by Sleepy ( 4551 )
        ... something about "starving them [vmware] of their oxygen supply" probably indicates the fate of VMWAre.

        MS will be using more than 1 method to dissuade people from using vmware:

        1) Make Virtual PC free
        2) Prohibit some MS OS's from running under vmware
        3) Make "virtual ready" client licenses of Windows OS more expensive (which affects any VM... but they have to tread carefully here and not specify vmware as the reason. Big deal if VPC is affected see #4
        4) Special price bundles and servers for Virtual PC host
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) *
      Example 1: WinCE vs. PalmOS
      Really? PalmOS is still widely used. Look at the smart Phones being sold There is usually at least 2 with PalmOS maybe 3 with Windows CE, and the rest are blackberries.

      Example 2: Xbox 360 vs. Playstation 3
      Don't Blame Microsoft on this on Sony was just SUPID! Too little to Late, way to expensive. Sony played a Vista with its Playstation 3.

      Example 3: Internet Explorer vs. Netscape
      Well netscape went underground and opened its source for the Mozilla foundation. Then Firefox came
      • I guess some of the blame can go to Microsoft and some evil, because they advertised Windows 95 to be far more then what it was, Windows Vista is one step closer to offering what Microsoft promised us in Windows 95.

        Do you have any links about what Microsoft promised for Windows 95? I'd be really interested to read that :)
    • Googlefight!
      • WinCE vs. PalmOS => Winner: PalmOS [googlefight.com]
      • XBox 360 vs. Playstation 3 => Winner: XBox 360 [googlefight.com]
      • Internet Explorer vs. Netscape => Winner: Internet Explorer [googlefight.com]
      • Doubledisk/Doublespace vs. Stacker => Winner: Stacker [googlefight.com]
      • Windows vs. OS/2 => Winner: Windows [googlefight.com]

      See? Microsoft doesn't always win!

    • ***It was a good run. Seriously-- once MS decides to push you out of the market, you're as good as dead.
      • Example 1: WinCE vs. PalmOS
      • Example 2: Xbox 360 vs. Playstation 3
      • Example 3: Internet Explorer vs. Netscape
      • Example 4: Doubledisk/doublespace vs. Stacker
      • Example 5: Windows vs. OS/2***

      Not necessarily:

      • Microsoft Money/Great Plains vs Quicken/Quickbooks
      • Windows vs Linux (Server -- a tossup -- the loser, Unix)
      • MSN Search vs Google
      • Internet Explorer vs Firefox undecided,but leaning toward Firef
    • It was a good run. Seriously-- once MS decides to push you out of the market, you're as good as dead.

      [5 excellent examples]

      True, but the world has changed since most of those examples. For example, Microsoft is losing (quite dramatically) to Apple in the mp3player market. Also, Microsoft is losing market share to Firefox (but not fatally so, not yet at least).

      What does this have to do with VMWare? Well, they should learn that competing on Microsoft's turf is doomed to fail; that is what happened in

    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      Example 1: WinCE vs. PalmOS
      Example 2: Xbox 360 vs. Playstation 3
      Example 3: Internet Explorer vs. Netscape
      Example 4: Doubledisk/doublespace vs. Stacker
      Example 5: Windows vs. OS/2

      Example 6: Microsoft Money vs Quicken.
      Er, wait...

      Certainly your last 3 examples (and probably the first two, but since I don't travel in the console or PDA markets, I couldn't say) are just as easily explained by standard market forces.

      The enormous suckitude of Navigator 4 and clear superiority of IE4 killed Netscape.
      Plumme

      • I also don't understand how MS can be blamed for anything to do with the Playstation 3, considering it has only recently launched (not in europe yet though!).
    • whats the difference between VMWare and Virtual PC ?
      one is just a windows application.
      That is why MS isn't going to win this one.
      Did you know you can get a complete ready to use Mono development environment as a VM, works well hosted on ubuntu, or XP or...
      Its actually configured on OpenSuse 10.2 but the underlying OS isn't too important what does matter is how quick you can go from downloading to using (missing out the configuration, resolve issue stage is a lot of time saved)

      I really would like to see more
    • ...there are real ones?

      With the possible example of #4 (did drive compression really catch on all that much before it was included with DOS?) all of your examples are bogus. Either Microsoft hasn't taken over those markets (#1 & 2), the competitor never had the lead to lose (#5), or the competitor is still kicking in one form or another (#3).

      Yet there are real examples you neglected.

      WordPerfect?
      1-2-3?
      Notes?
      Netware/Fileservices?

      Somehow, though, I suspect that your real motive was to slip the 360/PS3 trol
  • by Aaron Isotton ( 958761 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:17AM (#18151134)

    ...to support VMWare and buy a license for a great piece of software which you're probably using anyway. I am a Debian user and free software enthusiast, but I bought my license for VMWare workstation years ago and never looked back. VMWare is one of the very few commercial programs which I consider worth spending money on. I never had any real problems with it (at least since version 5, which is what I bought), it's fast and a pleasure to use. Maybe Xen or KVM will replace it in the long run, but I'm sure I'll keep on using VMWare for at least another two years.

    I know this sounds like an ad, but even their Linux support is great. I had some issues with VMWare 4 (I was using the trial) and asked on the newsgroup; the answers were quick and helpful.

    VMWare is exactly the way software should be. If you use it and like it you should really consider buying it.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:18AM (#18151138) Journal
    backyard. Eveyr company wants to play in MS's backyard, build it up to be profitable, and then are surprised that the hog wants their profits through any means possible. What amazes me is that companies have not learned that if they put their best work on MS and slight or even not build on other platforms, they kill their long term viability. Several others that are slowly disappearing are Adobe and Intuit.
  • by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @06:51AM (#18151306)
    Once again I as a consumer have to ask. What is MS doing that no one else is doing?

    Windows is a 'licensed use' 'closed source' OS. That up front should tell anyone what they need to know about it.

    So I have to ask, why is there such outcry that you can't install certain Vista versions in a VM for production or daily use? The last time I checked you can't install OSX in a VM NO MATTER WHAT according to the Apple license.

    So every user complaining about this policy from MS, should also write a letter to Apple demanding they let OSX run in VMs legally as well.

    At least MS fully licenses the non Home versions to work in VMs, and still allows developers to test home versions in VMs.

    So if this really angers you, then you have choices. First you should write Apple and all other Closed source OS companies that don't allow their OSes to run in VMs.

    Your next choice is simple, don't like it, don't freaking use it, there are plenty alternatives.

    If companies have a software product THEY NEED that only runs on Windows it would be FAR CHEAPER and easier to install a cheap Windows server and let users run that application via terminal services. Also a lot easier to deploy and support than mass amounts of VMs scattered throughout the offices.

    As for developers, most developers can get free or trial copies of any windows version for testing, and you can get by the 'license' if you need to test your product on Home Basic even in a VM.

    MS is also working with Xen and doing virtualization as a lot of OSS and technical people would want, yet because this puts VMWare at a disadvantage, they get to cry wolf and try to create some PR out of how they get hurt.

    If VMWare wants to cry about this, then fine let them cry. But if they want to succeed then they need to create a product that is simply BETTER than MS's VM or anything out there. That is the only way they will succeed, especially considering they have the entire *nix VM Host market as MS doesn't even try to make a non Windows Host version of their VM software.

    So get over it VMWare and just do what you do best.

    If this was REALLY about OS licensing to run under VMs, then they would also be talking about OSX and tons of other OSes that do not allow usage in VMs; instead they are focusing only on two versions of MS Vista.

    This should have been the first clue to everyone that VMWares motives are not as pure or consumer minded as they want people to believe.
    • >So every user complaining about this policy from MS, should also
      >write a letter to Apple demanding they let OSX run in VMs legally as well.

      Why? I have a need to run Windows in a VM, but I don't have a need at the moment to run OSX in a VM. As soon as I do, I'll write that letter to Apple, but right now all I care about is MS leveraging their illegal monopoly against those trying to switch to Mac.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:18AM (#18151482) Homepage Journal
    Aside from developers and a tiny group of specialists who need access to a particular app? In the datacenter world this is anathema. No one running a gaggle of boxes would ever seriously consider this and get paid for it. Cheaper and easier by far to throw up one more server and spend the 0.04 FTE (1/25th of a person) it takes to run it.

    And if you seriously considering multi image same system partitioning of Windows then you my friend need to re examine what it is you're doing. LPARs are not for Windows code. Go out and by an iSeries midrange or an AIX machine.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ibbieta ( 31756 )

      Aside from developers and a tiny group of specialists who need access to a particular app? In the datacenter world this is anathema. No one running a gaggle of boxes would ever seriously consider this and get paid for it. Cheaper and easier by far to throw up one more server and spend the 0.04 FTE (1/25th of a person) it takes to run it.

      I assume you mean that you think it irresponsible to be running Windows in a virtuallized environment? If so, I hate to tell you this but I'm seeing more and more companies, some with very large and capable tech staff, doing just that. At first it was for testing and development, true, but it just became easier to copy the image files onto the production VM serves. I even know of one credit union that has ALL production Windows servers as VMs.

      The ease of backups-restores is one big reason for the love b

  • I don't face restrictions like this with OSS. The license terms of most OSS software are simple and not subject to tightening. I *never* have to ask myself if Alan Cox, Linus, etc. will mess with my datacenter plans by saying a future version of Linux may not run on a virtualized system.
  • Propaganda and FUD (Score:2, Informative)

    by mqatrombone ( 306870 )
    This smells like FUD to me. I'm only aware of three changes in licensing about Microsoft operating systems.

    1) Windows Server 2003 R2 - 4 licenses for VMs running on Server 2003 Enterprise and unlimited VMs running on Server 2003 Datacenter
    2) Windows Vista - Can be run only in a VM on Ultimate and Enterprise, but Enterprise does give you 4 licenses of itself to run in a VM on Enterprise. Value add from Software Assurance? Say it isn't so.
    3) Windows Server 2003 R2 - A VM that isn't being run isn't considered
  • In the past, said Mike Neil, general manager of virtualization strategy at Microsoft, customers paid a license fee when Windows was installed on a physical machine. But he said virtual-machine software breaks the tight link between the operating system and the hardware, raising the possibility that customers could be using Windows more but not paying for it. So now, he said, the license fee is based on when a copy of Windows is used, whether in a virtual or physical machine.

    If that is their *official* stan
  • This is the rule of the market place:

    If you buy something with hard earned cash and it does EXACTLY what it says it'll do, you have absolutely zero ground to stand on as far as complaints.

    So Microsoft decided not to support virtual machines on their lower end products. Really all this translates into is a price hike on TCO for enterprise shops. Ok. So? There's only two questions that need to be asked:

    1. Does the increased cost/inconvenience outweigh the benefits this platform provides me?
    2. Is the hassle

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