Microsoft Plans to Get All Xen with Linux

After all these years, Microsoft may be showing the first signs of accepting a world in which it co-exists with Linux, rather than treies to browbeat it out of existence: the Redmond software giant and virtualization developer XenSource have announced a collaborative agreement to provide intereroperability between the next version of Windows Server, codenamed Longhorn, and Xen-enabled versions of the Linux operating system. The result would be servers which use virtualization to run Windows and Linux applications side-by side more efficiently and cost-effectively: an appealing prospect for mixed-platform enterprises and computing environments.

The announcement is seen as a challenge to virtualization developer VMWare, which currently leads the market for runing multiple operating systems on the Windows platform. Virtualization is becoming a key technology for testing and deploying new software solutions, maintaining standard security and application configurations, and providing support for legacy software even when the hardware required to run that software is no longer practical to maintain.

Microsoft says it expects to conduct a public trial of Windows Server virtualization in Longhorn by the end of 2006, and release a commercial version of the solution within 180 days of Longhorn’s release