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Contributors: Douglas McIntyre Jon C. Ogg

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Windows AND Linux?

After reviewing some key news headlines that may have been missed, there was something that may get lost in the myriad of earnings, oil prices, PPI, and of course Israel/Lebanon. This was a Windows/Linux story, and it was from Microsoft (MSFT) and a new partner XenSource.

Just two or three years ago in a pre-Google dominated world this would have been the Holy Grail for news, but today it is just another press release. Microsoft has already had to acknowledge that Linux is here and will continue to be here. But this seems like a step on the company's part to make sure that at least some interoperability runs smoothly rather than poorly.

This may not be the first release of this sort, but it is at least a good start. Will it lead to even more interoperability deals down the road? The guts of the press release are included below.

Does anyone find it odd that "Linux" still shows up as a typo on Word's spell check?

Jon C. Ogg



BELOW IS THE PRESS RELEASE

"Microsoft and XenSource to Develop Interoperability for Windows Server'Longhorn'; Collaboration Will Enable Customers to Virtualize Xen-Enabled Linux on Windows Server"

REDMOND, Wash. and PALO ALTO, Calif., July 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - News) and XenSource Inc. today announced they will cooperate on the development of technology to provide interoperability between Xen(TM)-enabled Linux and the new Microsoft® Windows® hypervisor technology-based Windows Server® virtualization. With the resulting technology, the next version of Windows Server, code-named "Longhorn," will provide customers with a flexible and powerful virtualization solution across their hardware infrastructure and operating system environments for cost-saving consolidation of Windows, Linux and Xen-enabled Linux distributions.

"Microsoft's commitment to customers is to build bridges across the industry with solutions that are interoperable by design," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Our work with XenSource, a recognized leader in open source virtualization technology, reflects that commitment and Microsoft's ongoing efforts to bring virtualization solutions to the mainstream and help customers progress toward self-managing dynamic systems."

"We are pleased to collaborate with Microsoft as a development partner and to deliver interoperable virtualization solutions," said Peter Levine, president and CEO of XenSource. "Xen-enabled guests will run seamlessly on XenEnterprise now, and, as a result of this agreement, Xen-enabled Linux guests will also run on Windows Server virtualization. XenSource will also deliver additional products based on the collaboratively developed technology, further expanding the value of the relationship."

Benefits for Customers

The joint efforts between the two companies will deliver the following customer benefits:

-- Interoperability by design through collaborative development of two
leaders in virtualization technology
-- A flexible, high-performance and more reliable virtualization solution
with Windows Server "Longhorn," optimized to support heterogeneous
software environments and a wide array of hardware
-- Microsoft technical support for issues regarding interoperability with
Xen-enabled Linux guest operating systems through the standard
Microsoft technical support process

Availability

Microsoft anticipates providing a beta release of Windows Server virtualization by the end of 2006 and plans to release the solution to manufacturing (RTM) within 180 days of the RTM of Windows Server "Longhorn," which is targeted for the end of 2007. Microsoft currently provides virtual machine add-ins and technical support for Linux guest operating systems running on Virtual Server 2005 R2.

This agreement builds on an ongoing relationship between Microsoft and XenSource. XenSource has previously licensed the Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk format to enable interoperability with Microsoft virtualization technologies. For customers with Premier-level support agreements, Microsoft will use commercially reasonable efforts to address potential issues with Microsoft software running in XenEnterprise.
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