Over the last few years, I've read and listened to numerous complaints from people about Microsoft not being fully invested in virtualisation, that the software giant was simply sticking their big toe in the virtualisation water to test it out. Well, if that were true, then last week the Redmond giant did a cannonball from the top most diving board, making a huge splash in the virtualisation community.
Microsoft wants virtualisation to change the way IT organisations work - from the datacentre to the desktop. And with that, the company announced several strategic changes in its virtualisation strategy in order to make virtualisation more attractive to a wider audience.
Along with the company's announcement about what it calls its new Dynamic IT vision, Microsoft also officially announced the following:
- The acquisition of Calista Technologies;
- Interoperability and collaboration between Microsoft and Citrix;
- New Microsoft Virtualisation Solution Accelerators;
- Expanded virtualisation licensing options for Microsoft Windows Vista;
- Microsoft Office support using Microsoft SoftGrid Application Virtualisation.
Bringing virtualisation to the datacentre with Windows Server 2008 is only one piece of Microsoft's larger vision. It wants to leverage virtualisation to change the way IT works from one end of the enterprise to the other - from desktop to datacentre.
"Very few customers are able to reap the benefits of virtualisation today," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "We estimate that less than five percent of companies are utilising virtualisation technology because it is simply too cost-prohibitive and complex. We believe Microsoft's comprehensive approach - from desktop to datacentre - is unique to the industry by delivering solutions that address virtualisation at the hardware, application and management levels. Our approach is not only one of the most comprehensive in the market today, but we believe it is also one of the most economical. This combination brings a big strategic advantage and cost savings to customers."