Microsoft plans to launch a Windows Vista hypervisor by mid 2009, according to Gartner. Virtualization is currently immature and this aspect reflects upon Microsoft's little coherent strategy with the technology. The restrictions associated with the use of hardware emulating technology and the Home Basic and Home Premium editions of Windows Vista are clear examples of a labile Microsoft approach to virtualization. The Redmond company permits only Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate to be integrated with
virtualization solutions. However, all this could change with the Vista hypervisor.
"We expect Microsoft to release a hypervisor for Windows Vista by mid-2009, which would lead to a rapid increase in the number of virtualized installations. To accommodate this change, Microsoft will need to make a number of adjustments to Windows licensing and product use rights. Making these adjustments before its hypervisor is ready, however, could provide some market advantage to competitors such as VMware; therefore, Microsoft has a strong motivation to delay," commented Gartner analysts Brian Gammage, Michael A. Silver and Neil MacDonald.
The Windows Vista-based "hypervisor" software is planned to be built directly into the operating system and will permit users to virtualize multiple platforms on the same machine. Connected with the virtualization technologies introduced by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, the hypervisor will also be related to Windows Server 2008 and perhaps Windows Vista Service Pack 1.
"The fastest-growing market for PC VMMs during 2006 involved running Windows XP in a VM on the Mac OS. (Unlike Vista, Windows XP is not subject to any VM-related restrictions.) SWsoft reportedly achieved significant sales of its Parallels Desktop for the Mac OS, and VMware released a similar product on 11 June 2007. The Vista virtualization restrictions directly impact such usage, because Windows Home versions are generally preferred by consumers installing VMs on the Mac OS. The removal of these restrictions, if Microsoft had gone through with that move as planned, had the potential to increase sales of Windows Vista," Gartner added.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Hypervisor