Report: Microsoft plans virtualization manager

Microsoft is planning management software code-named Carmine to oversee virtualization tasks such as starting, stopping or moving virtual machines, Computer Reseller News reported Tuesday.

The software has only some of the features of rival VMware's VirtualCenter management software, according to an unnamed source in the story. Microsoft declined to comment.

Virtualization lets a single computer run several operating systems at once, a feature that permits greater efficiency when juggling multiple tasks. Microsoft, faced with pressure from EMC's VMware and more recently from the open-source Xen software being built into Red Hat and Novell Linux products, has begun more serious work on virtualization beyond its current Virtual Server and Virtual PC products.

Among other things, it's working on a "hypervisor" code-named Viridian, a faster, more flexible approach to the current products. Viridian will be come with an update to the forthcoming Longhorn Server version of Windows.

In addition, Microsoft is working on higher-level virtualization technology that makes a single instance of Windows appear to be several.

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