While Microsoft has not made any decision about pricing and whether Windows Virtual Server will ship as a stand-alone product, be provided as a free add-on or embedded into the Windows server kernel, it has decided that the software that runs inside the virtual server will be licensed in exactly the same way as in the physical machine world. "Say a customer creates two virtual machines, which each run Windows Server 2003. They will need two server licenses, and whatever applications they are running within those virtual machines must be licensed the same way as if they were running on physical hardware. If they are running multiple copies, theyll pay for multiple licenses," Pizzirani said.Microsoft is also hoping that Windows Virtual Server will drive demand for Windows Server 2003, particularly from NT 4 customers. "NT 4 is outdated technology with certain limitations in terms of scalability and reliability," Pizzirani said. "So people have very good reasons to move, and hardware manufacturers are also coming out with hardware that no longer supports NT 4. People are aware that at some point they will have to move off NT 4. "But migrating applications is a difficult thing as it requires significant testing on the new platform, upgrading to a new version and the like. We are trying to make this transition easier for them," he said. Microsoft customers are largely interested in the Virtual Server solution to save on the cost and complexity of upgrading the application software more than anything else, with the hardware also being a big concern, he said. Microsoft is also looking at a code refresh, or beta, later in the summer, and it is likely that this will still be made available to all interested parties. The Windows Virtual Server developer team is hoping for a product release before the end of the calendar year, Pizzirani said. Latest Microsoft News:
This is not expected to have a large impact on customers, as the primary scenarios for the virtual technology is NT 4 legacy application migration and server consolidation.