Microsoft Frees Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise

    April 5, 2006

Microsoft has decided to release as a free download Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition.

At LinuxWorld, Microsoft made the huge announcement, turning the $199 product into a nice freebie, and dropping the $99 Standard Edition entirely. You can also order it by CD, if 29 megabyte downloads are too much for you. It’s even made its way into Ben’s Bargains.

From eWeek:

When asked if the decision to provide the product for free was also a response to the fact that both Red Hat and Novell’s SUSE Linux were building the Xen hypervisor technology into their server operating systems, Ni said Microsoft had always planned to offer its Windows hypervisor technology for free with Windows “Longhorn” Server.

Another advantage of giving customers the Virtual Server products for free, he said, is that it opens the benefits of virtualization up to a broad range of customers, while giving them an upgrade path to Longhorn Server and the Windows hypervisor, which will use the same VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) format that the current Virtual Server product uses.

Microsoft will also use LinuxWorld to announce the availability of virtual machine add-ins for Linux, which until now have been beta tested only by a closed group of Linux customers.

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