Virtualization announcement at MMS

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And now we know one of the reasons why Ben is in 'Vegas.  This years Microsoft Management Summit saw the arrival of some significant announcements around Microsoft's plans for virtualization.  To summarize:

In the short term, Microsoft is responding to customers' needs by improving the performance and interoperability of Virtual Server 2005 and improving manageability through integration with Microsoft® Operations Manager (MOM) 2005:

  • The Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta version is available today, delivering 64-bit compatibility and improved performance and availability. Virtual Server 2005 SP1 will enable support for Windows Server (TM) 2003 x64 editions as host operating systems and, along with performance improvements in the virtual machine software, will enable customers to further increase the efficiency of their hardware environments. Virtual Server 2005 SP1 beta is available at The final version is scheduled to be available by the end of the year.
  • Microsoft is working with industry partners to expand the support of third-party guest operating systems running on Virtual Server 2005 SP1. This expanded support is designed to make Windows Server 2003 and Virtual Server 2005 a powerful platform for heterogeneous server consolidation.
  • A new MOM 2005 management pack for Virtual Server 2005 provides administrators with a central console for managing the health and performance of both physical and virtual machines seamlessly, allowing customers to leverage their existing server management tools to manage their virtual environments.
  • Microsoft will license royalty-free the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) to make it easier for partners to develop VHD-based solutions and continue to enhance the capabilities and extensibility of the VHD file format. A common file format helps improve security, reliability and cost-efficiency for customers. Microsoft is committed to enhancing and extending the capabilities of this format over time.

In addition to these near-term product deliverables, Microsoft is working with the industry and increasing its investments to provide customers with more robust virtualization and virtualization management solutions for the Windows® platform:

  • Microsoft will build virtualization capabilities into the Windows platform based on Windows hypervisor technology, planned for availability in the next product wave of the Windows operating system, code-named Windows "Longhorn." This integrated hypervisor technology in the Windows operating system will be designed to provide customers with a high-performance virtualization solution for Windows and heterogeneous environments.
  • Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology will support enhanced hardware technologies, such as Intel Virtualization Technology and AMD's Pacifica specification. The combination of these software and hardware technologies will open the door to widespread use of computer virtualization in the future.
  • Increased investments in Microsoft's System Center family of products will result in management products that are optimized to take advantage of the unique capabilities that virtualization brings to the Windows platform.

A full press release can be found here:


(Who will be partying tonight! :-)

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  • Hi Ben,

    No mention was made of Virtual PC for Windows...does this likely mean the current stand-alone product is to be abandonned in favour of the hypervisor technology mentioned for "Longhorn"?

  • Hey... somewhere I read that Virtual PC 2004 SP2 will add 64-bit. Any idea when we can expect this? Q3?
  • No mention was made of Virtual PC for Windows because this was the "Microsoft Management Summit". The subject was most likely server technologies and management not VPC for Windows and compatibility.

    The standalone product will never be abandoned to be integrated into Windows(well...never say never...). MS has spent $$ to aquire VPC from Connectix, integrating these capabilities for "free", in their home OS's would not be very profitable. Beside's an OS is supposed to be an OS...not a product suite. Eventually yeah it's possible that MS will provide more emulation in their OS's other than NTVDM but not anytime soon.

    As for the virtualization mentioned for LongHorn it requires Intel/AMD processors that use this technology....which are not out yet and are more for the high-end server market. Not the home market.

    I doubt you'll get a firm date on an XP SP2 but I am sure we'll know "WID".
  • This is a really great blog. Thanks for your stuff, keep it coming!

    Anyways, what is the 64bit story in regards to VPC?

    Will I ever be able to run 64bit apps in a VPC? Will I need to run the 64bit OS in the host PC? Will VPC emulate a 64bit processor in some cases?
  • I hope your partying is not like our trip to New Orleans.....
  • Hi All,

    To answer a bunch of your questions - there have been no announcements about our plans for client virtualization at this stage - so anything that you have heard about this is mere rumor - and I do not have anything to say until it has been officially announced :-)

    And don't worry Zack - Ben partied mildly this time :-)

  • Are there plans to add support for VPC running under Windows for x64? I sure could use that support. It would probably resolve my last hangup with Windows for x64. if there are no current plans, I would like to ask that this be added to the product plans. :-)

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Virtualization announcement at MMS