Microsoft plans 'hypervisor' for Longhorn

Microsoft reiterated plans to launch its own Windows-based "hypervisor" software for running multiple operating systems.

Bob Muglia, senior vice president in the Windows Server Division, said on Tuesday that the software will be "built directly in Windows and will allow companies to virtualize multiple operating systems. "

Muglia, speaking at Microsoft's Tech Ed conference, said the hypervisor software will be delivered in 2007, following the debut of Longhorn Server.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer first mentioned the companies hypervisor plans in April at the company's Management Summit conference.

Such software lets multiple operating systems run on the same computer, a feature that's useful for extracting as much work as possible from a single system.

Microsoft's rival in this area is shaping up to be Xen, an open source software package which has rapidly gained the support of Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, Red Hat, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and IBM. Those companies have offered Xen support in the form of endorsements, programming help and software contributions.

Xen doesn't yet support Windows, however.

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