Microsoft to announce virtualization plans

Microsoft will hold a launch event for its virtualization
products, scheduled for Sept. 8, in Bellevue, Wash. More
information and a sign up link can be found here.

The Bellevue-based event will draw Microsoft execs to speak,
with a keynote address by Bob Muglia, senior vice president of
Microsoft's server and tools business, and Kevin Turner,
Microsoft's chief executive officer.

Microsoft has a complete line of virtualization products, in
various stages of release, so there's some speculation about what Microsoft
may announce at the September event. Microsoft has already released
to manufacturing (RTM) its Hyper-V virtualization solution, which
is part of Windows Server 2008.

The company's System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008
solution was released as a public beta in April, with expectations
for an RTM release in the second half of 2008. Given that schedule,
it seems likely that Microsoft will announce the RTM status of
Virtual Machine Manager 2008 at this event. The Virtual Machine
Manager 2008 is designed to help IT administrators manage Windows
Server 2008, Microsoft Virtual Server and systems using VMware's
virtualization solution.

Another piece of the puzzle is Microsoft's Kidaro acquisition,
which provided Microsoft with technology for desktop
virtualization. Microsoft announced the acquisition of Kidaro in
March with the idea that it will be part of the Microsoft Desktop
Optimization Pack for Software Assurance customers. Kidaro's
technology promises to let IT professionals create software images
for desktop PCs that also allow individual users to run their own
software concurrently, without conflicts.

Microsoft has said that it will ship Kidaro's
technology under the "Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization"
(MED-V) name. At its virtualization product launch event, Microsoft
has a session called "Client-Hosted Virtualization With MED-V,"
which presumably will discuss the integration of Kidaro's

The company also plans to talk about its "Microsoft Application
Virtualization" solution, formerly known as SoftGrid, at the event.
This software, which, among other things, allows applications to
bypass conflicts caused by using shared resources, is currently
available as version 4.5 in beta release.

Microsoft plans to make its Microsoft Application Virtualization
product generally available in the third quarter of 2008 as part of
the "Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Microsoft Application
Virtualization CAL for Terminal Services," according to the
company's SoftGrid Web site. With that timeline, the
general availability of this product might also be announced at
this launch event.

Veteran Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley speculated in her
All About Microsoft blog that Microsoft might talk about
application virtualization via streaming methods of delivery. The
idea is that Microsoft could make a license change that could
enable Microsoft apps to compete against hosted applications
provided by Google.

In addition to this Bellevue event, Microsoft is planning to
announce additional U.S. launch event sites to talk about its
virtualization products, according to Microsoft's GetVirtualNow
Web site.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


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