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Analysts expect Apple to play a big role in the virtualization market too

While no official announcement was official made, Microsoft now says its Virtual PC 2004 virtualization application is now free for download. There's no trial out period and no crippled demo. Users who were interested in testing out various operating systems on their Windows PC can now do so free of charge.

The software giant says "whether Microsoft virtualization technology is an important component of your existing infrastructure or you're just a Virtual PC enthusiast, you can now download Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 absolutely free." Microsoft also mentions that the upcoming Virtual PC 2007, set to be released along with Windows Vista, will also remain fully free.

Microsoft purchased Virtual PC from Connectix in early 2003 and took on the development process for the application. Virtualization has become a big topic in the enterprise space as many companies strive to consolidate hardware and IT management. Companies such as VMWare play a big role in this market.

Since the release of Boot Camp several months ago, Apple has stepped into the virtualization and dual-boot market as well. Parallels released its virtualization platform for Apple's Intel-based Macs which utilizes Intel's VT Technology -- this feature gave guest OSes running in Parallels' Desktop for OS X the ability to directly access CPU ops. Many were impressed with the performance of platform.

Since then, there has been speculation that Apple will build virtualization technology directly into its next major release of OS X, codenamed Leopard. Apple is expected to release its server and workstation machines based on Intel's Woodcrest Xeon processors later this year. Considering the ability of Intel Macs to dual-boot OS X and Windows XP while also being able to run high-performance virtualization, analysts are expecting virtualization to become a key component to Apple's Intel-based enterprise machines.


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Cool
By segagenesis on 7/12/2006 10:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
This is actually pretty cool news for those who deal with anything from Win95 to Win2003. Now before I hear anyone cry about what might happen to VMWare as a result please consider the benefits from this... the command line in modern Windows does not really serve as a full fledged replacement for DOS and maintaining older hardware for older operating systems becomes cumbersome for some companies. I am well familiar with and I imagine alot of others probably also are of software that absolutely must run on Windows 95 or 98, but there is no chance in hell the company will either upgrade to a new version of software or change because of re-training costs. So... a free alternative to running old hardware or even better yet running multiple older systems at once in Virtual PC... go for it.

Now about that VMWare, they wont disappear right away. We still buy licenses for it because it still has alot more advanced features and more importantly continues to support Linux.





RE: Cool
By Reflex on 7/12/2006 11:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
Its actually a good move considering that VMWare has been free with one of their versions for a while now..


RE: Cool
By Xenoid on 7/12/2006 11:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know how this compares to VMWare?


RE: Cool
By drewintheav on 7/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: Cool
By silentpc on 7/12/2006 11:56:41 AM , Rating: 1
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/apps/vm.ars

VMWare is superior now and v6 will be significantly better. I use both: VMWare is more efficient, faster, and offers better support for non-windows OS


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/12/2006 12:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately that link is old, and many of the cons they list for VMWare are now not applicable. Such as the dynamic display sizing which is now an integrated feature in VMWare Workstation 5.5.

Still a good read though.


RE: Cool
By silentpc on 7/12/2006 12:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not true that Virtual PC only supports MS: you can make it work with other things (Linux at least) easily enough - it's just not as easy as VMW


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/12/2006 11:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
It won't matter to VMWare. Microsoft's own pride will prevent them from ever truly competing with VMWare. In other words, Microsoft will never support any operating system other than their own, whereas VMWare has no vested interested in one operating system or another.

While it's great that Virtual PC is now free, and it is a highly useful product if you deal exclusively with Microsoft OS's; VMWare Workstation supports guest operating systems such as Linux, Solaris, and Unix whereas Virtual PC only supports Microsoft.


RE: Cool
By Reflex on 7/12/2006 12:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Actually its fairly easy to run non-MS OS's on VirtualPC, and MS has announced official support for Linux and a few other OS's for the 2007 release, so I guess that blows your theory out of the water. ;)

That said, VMWare is light years ahead in functionality...


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/12/2006 8:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually its fairly easy to run non-MS OS's on VirtualPC, and MS has announced official support for Linux and a few other OS's for the 2007 release, so I guess that blows your theory out of the water. ;)
You forget the other half of supporting non-Microsoft operating systems. I didn't think I'd be hard-pressed to actually say this (since it should be obvious), but you show me a Linux host running the new free Virtual PC and THEN my theory will be blown out of the water.


RE: Cool
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 9:57:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You forget the other half of supporting non-Microsoft operating systems. I didn't think I'd be hard-pressed to actually say this (since it should be obvious), but you show me a Linux host running the new free Virtual PC and THEN my theory will be blown out of the water.

Theory blown out of water: Here's an Ars Technica review where they describe having run Linux on Virtual PC 2004:

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/apps/vm.ars/2


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/13/2006 1:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Theory blown out of water: Here's an Ars Technica review where they describe having run Linux on Virtual PC 2004:
Read what I wrote.

A Linux HOST running Virtual PC. In the world of virtualization, the host is the operating system running natively, and the guest operating system is the OS running with some sort of virtulization software such as Virtual PC or VMWare Workstation.

I'm asking you to show me a Linux HOST running Virtual PC with a guest (of any OS) running inside it in a way that would actually be worthwhile and anywhere near the performance of installing VMWare Workstation on a Linux HOST.

Furthermore, as far as guest OS abilities, if this is the potential issues to be expected from Virtual PC, then I'm not sure why you are attempting to argue this point.

quote:
Fedora installed easily, but caused Virtual PC to freeze when it tried to reboot. I was eventually able to kill the process, but it took a lot of coercion. The OS would boot, but all commands resulted in segfaulting.


You really are trying to argue my point with this type of evidence?

But even still, I still don't see Virtual PC running on a Linux host. Try again.


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/13/2006 1:48:43 AM , Rating: 2
So this goes back to my original statement. Virtual PC will never be a true competitor to VMWare until they support Linux, both as a Guest OS and as a Host OS. If Virtual PC hadn't gone free, any business that runs Linux at all would never consider the purchase of Virtual PC no matter how much you think it "might" be able to run Linux as a guest OS. Not to mention you will never be able to run Virtual PC on a Linux host and then run say... Windows XP inside it. Which would be something that my company uses VMWare Workstation for as an example.

Going free was the only option for a product that will never fully embrace Linux as a supported guest or host OS.


RE: Cool
By Calin on 7/13/2006 2:39:13 AM , Rating: 2
On the 2007 version, which might or might be not free. Anyway, you should be glad that the Virtual PC you can have now for free will support one year from now in a possibly non-free version other operating systems. </sarcasm>


RE: Cool
By bwmccann on 7/12/2006 1:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Cool
By Calin on 7/13/2006 2:37:09 AM , Rating: 2
Badly I think.
VMWare virtual machines can use USB devices mounted on the parent computer - while VirtualPC can not. VirtualPC seems slower in computation (general feeling is good as all the GDI functions are probably run by the GDI of the host).
VirtualPC support for different operating systems is non-existent at best (Linux or OpenBSD can not see any disk drive/partition :( )


RE: Cool
By smilingcrow on 7/12/2006 3:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
The free VMWare Workstation version is actually a VM Player and can't create VMs. It has it's uses as you can download free VMs from VMWare's website.


RE: Cool
By arindamiitk on 7/12/2006 9:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually VMware has a free "VMware Server" product which allows you to create VMs. Ofcourse "Workstation" adds on a lot of test/dev oriented functionality like snapshot trees, teams, etc. MS Virtual PC is equivalent to VMware Server. MS does not have any equivalent to VMware Workstation.


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/13/2006 1:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually VMware has a free "VMware Server" product which allows you to create VMs. Ofcourse "Workstation" adds on a lot of test/dev oriented functionality like snapshot trees, teams, etc. MS Virtual PC is equivalent to VMware Server. MS does not have any equivalent to VMware Workstation.
That's sort of true. Unfortunately, with VMWare Server, you must run it on a Windows Server operating system. VMWare Server will not work properly on Windows XP.

So in terms of the realm of free commercial virtualization software, Virtual PC is the best option for Windows shops. For businesses that want to run Linux, then another option would be to use the VMWare Player.

While VMWare Player cannot create virtual machines on it's own, you can go to websites such as www.easyvmx.com and create a VMX file there, and use it to then create an image within VMWare Player. Unfortunately you still lack the one major feature of VMWare Workstation that VMWare Player does not have which is simply the ability to snapshot.


RE: Cool
By stmok on 7/13/2006 3:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's sort of true. Unfortunately, with VMWare Server, you must run it on a Windows Server operating system. VMWare Server will not work properly on Windows XP.


Which version of Server are you talking about?

Because if you're talking about the Free one, I run BOTH Linux and Windows versions. And I DO NOT need Windows Server to run VMware Server for Windows.

I use Win2k Pro SP4 as well as on a WinXP box, and they work fine.


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/13/2006 2:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
I mean your host operating system has to be a Windows Server OS to run VMWare Server. You can run whatever operating system you want within VMWare Server, but the host has to be a Windows Server OS such as Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003.

I realize you are running Win2k Pro and WinXP within VMWare Server, but what is the host operating system that you installed VMWare Server in?

As taken from the VMWare Server 1.0 documenation...

Windows Host Operating Systems
You must use a Microsoft Windows server operating system. To use the VMware
Management Interface, Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.0 or 6.0 must be installed.
NOTE Operating systems and service packs that are not listed are not supported for
use as a host operating system for VMware Server.
64-bit host computers can run the following operating systems for 64-bit extended
systems:
! Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, Standard, and Web Editions, R2
! Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, Standard, and Web Editions, Service
Pack 1
32-bit host computers can run the following operating systems:
! Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, Standard, and Web Editions, R2
! Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, Standard, Web, and Small Business
Editions, including Service Pack 1
! Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Service Pack 3 and Service Pack 4
! Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Service Pack 3 and Service Pack 4


RE: Cool
By MrBeanz on 7/13/2006 2:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
Although VMWare Server will install on Win2K Pro or WinXP and work properly, then that is good to know. Perhaps it was simply a fault of RC1 when I attempted to install it on a WinXP SP2 box.


RE: Cool
By silentpc on 7/12/2006 12:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
No way VMWare is going to disappear - desktop virtualisation is small beer for them.

We just paid big money for VMWare ESX / Virtual Infrastructure Node. Factor in ongoing support, plus increased popularity as Dell and other Tier Ones are really starting to push virtual serving solutions, plus hardware support for virtualisation...I think VMWare will be around for a long time. Virtualisation is important technology for future scalability / manageability.


microsofts reaction?
By meyerds on 7/12/2006 2:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is this Microsoft's reaction to Xen Virtualization? Microsoft has been attempting to compete against linux usage in the server space for some time now... perhaps this is a move to compete with an already-free virtualization solution?




RE: microsofts reaction?
By msva124 on 7/12/2006 4:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that must be it. They realize there are enormous amounts of money to be made in the free virtualization software market and took the steps they needed to compete.


RE: microsofts reaction?
By Calin on 7/13/2006 2:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose you are sarcastic - and I smiled.
However, there are money to be made in virtualization market, and even worse, a monopoly that is not Microsoft's could be created (worse for Microsoft I mean). Anyway, Microsoft wins as long as their operating systems are used as hosts and guests - you would need a license to run a guest Microsoft operating system just as you need a license to run a host OS.
They don't want to compete - they want it a monopoly, and one of their own. Remember that the only divisions in Microsoft that bring money are the ones that are monopolies or near monopolies (Windows and Office). Everything else is probably bleeding money - XBox, game division, probably Hotmail/MSN, and countless other smaller or bigger branches.


RE: microsofts reaction?
By stmok on 7/13/2006 3:22:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is this Microsoft's reaction to Xen Virtualization?


Actually, it isn't.

This is MS's reaction to VMware's release of VMwmare Server Ver 1.0 (which is free). Take note of the release date of VMware's solution...10th of July...Take a look at MS's response: 2 days later.




Actually...
By Shadowself on 7/12/2006 12:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
Currently available information is that Apple will *not* be getting directly into the virtualization market. An Apple VP (Phil Schiller) has been quoted as stating that Apple will "absolutely not" be doing virtualization and "dual boot is our solution". However, Apple is actively promoting Parallels' product.

Some Mac fanatics have been claiming that Apple's next iteration of OS X will have the ability to natively run Windows Apps. I greatly doubt this. If I can write a Windows based App and it will run on both Windows and Macs natively why would I *ever* do a Mac native App?

My biggest gripe with VirtualPC is its performance after Microsoft took it over from Connectix. I had the misfortune of having to use VPC on a Mac for a few years. VPC 6.1 (the first MS version) on a Mac was about half the speed of VPC 6.0 (the last connectix version) for what I needed to do. When VPC 7.0 (from MS) came out it was heralded as being 50% faster than the previous version (VPC 6.1). It was... 50% faster than VPC 6.1 ... making it 75% of the speed of VPC 6.0!

If this is any indication of Microsofts other implementations of VPC (which I've never had occasion to use) then free is not cheap enough. Pay me to take it, and I'll consider it.




RE: Actually...
By kelmon on 7/13/2006 3:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some Mac fanatics have been claiming that Apple's next iteration of OS X will have the ability to natively run Windows Apps. I greatly doubt this. If I can write a Windows based App and it will run on both Windows and Macs natively why would I *ever* do a Mac native App?


You write them for the simple reason that your customers demand them. I can say, without fear of contradiction, that Mac owners do not buy Macs in order to run Windows applications - if we wanted to do that then we'd buy a Windows computer. Besides, OS X is a joy to program for, particularly since the advent of Core Data which certainly spares a lot of tedium.


free is always good
By AnotherGuy on 7/12/2006 5:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have used virtual PC 2004 but i didnt like it much... comparing to the Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 whih is web based and much easier to work with.... i wonder if this will be free too thoe




RE: free is always good
By stmok on 7/13/2006 3:20:32 AM , Rating: 2
Eh, Virtual Server 2005 R2 IS FREE.


VGS
By Slaimus on 7/12/2006 3:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they release Connectix's Virtual Game Station as well. That will really screw with the heads of Sony executives.




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