Gartner fellow, Brian Gammage, said, “Microsoft’s licensing terms for Windows Vista running in VMs are unjustified; in addition, these terms are widely perceived as being designed to delay market adoption of competitive virtualisation software.”
Gammage said Microsoft’s restrictions had spurred users' complaints, negative publicity and renewed interest in open-source and competitive alternatives.
Gartner expects Microsoft to release a hypervisor for Windows Vista by mid-2009, which would lead to a rapid increase in the number of virtualised installations. Gammage said, “To accommodate this change, Microsoft will need to make a number of adjustments to Windows licensing and product use rights.”
He suggested that Microsoft has a strong motivation to delay making these adjustments before its own hypervisor was ready because it could provide some market advantage to rivals like VMware. The end-user licence agreement for Windows Vista contains significant restrictions on the use of Vista in VMs, Gammage warned. “The restrictions on DRM and BitLocker directly affect enterprise users.”