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Virtualization: "The Leading Technology of the 21st Century"

"VMware has been the only company to seriously threaten Microsoft's franchise business"

The recent activity and interest around virtualization including the VMware IPO and Citrix acquisition of XenSource is indicative of the importance of virtualization as the leading technology of the 21st century.

In a week where the market was headed decidedly south, the VMware IPO emerged as a star. The timing of the Citrix acquisition of XenSource was impeccable. XenSource is an open source company specializing in hypervisors, technology that allows multiple operating systems to simultaneously run on a single host computer. These two events showcase enterprise interest in virtualization.

What does this really mean? It means the way Microsoft has shaped the market with the operating system, Windows, as the building block is about to undergo a transformation. The transformation means that technology can be built to run on any device, duplicated elsewhere and keep track of where and how it is running.

Think about the possibilities this can create. Software will not be tied to an operating system, rather it will be a malleable environment capable of running where the user wants it to.

Microsoft is aware of this intention to dismantle and prove the operating system, its franchise business of Windows, irrelevant. Microsoft certainly has a significant territory to protect. The software giant made public statements regarding its intent to deliver virtualization, of course as part of the operating system. However, their timeline has been delayed.

Virtualization technology, specifically, VMware has been the only company to seriously threaten Microsoft's franchise business. Citrix, with its XenSource acquisition, is now entering that elite group along with VMware.

More Stories By Theresa Lanowitz

Theresa Lanowitz, Founder of voke, inc. is recognized worldwide as a strategic thinker and market influencer in application lifecycle, virtualization and convergence markets. With over 20 years of experience, Theresa has been associated with some of the most breakthrough technology and products of their time. From 1999 through 2006, Theresa was a research analyst with Gartner. During her tenure with Gartner, Theresa pioneered the application quality ecosystem, championed the application security space, and consistently identified new and emerging companies to watch. As the lead industry analyst for billion dollar plus enterprise software companies such as Mercury, Compuware, and a host of others, Theresa developed marketing and launch strategies, corporate and product messaging, and identified partnering and acquisition opportunities.

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Most Recent Comments
Stephen Brown 08/24/07 11:05:27 AM EDT

"Think about the possibilities this can create. Software will not be tied to an operating system, rather it will be a malleable environment capable of running where the user wants it to."

Even within the VM realm, the operating system is still required to run the software. If you wanted to run Linux software on a Windows machine, you would create a virtual machine (VM) with partitioned hard-drive space, load Ubuntu, and then load the software within the VM. The opposite would hold true for Windows within a VM on a Linux box. You would have to have a copy of Win XP, load it onto the VM, load the software, and then you could run the software within the virtual environment...but your not eliminating the operating system or the licensing of the operating system from the equation.

Blog: www.networkinstruments.wordpress.com

R. Davidge 08/20/07 05:31:11 PM EDT

The virtualization trend is having a much greater impact on the hardware vendors than it will ever have on Microsoft. Contrary to what the article asserts, VMWare loosens the reins that tie applications to particular HARDWARE, not software. Apps that will only run in Windows will STILL only run in Windows. The only thing that's changed now is that virtualization makes it unnecessary for the average user to have to maintain a separate machine for each OS they wish to run. M$ was quick to 'enhance' their activation process so as to circumvent those who were hoping that virtualization was a 'cloner's wet dream'. One cannot just 'image' a Windows installation, then take the virtual image and propagate it to as many machines as they wish. Even when running as a virtual image, XP 'dials in', to the activation process and prompts the user to activate, or notifies them that their current 'imaged' activation is invalid.

No, virtualization's true impact is felt by the server manuf. Rather than now needing a bank of servers, the savvy IT admin can just order up one 'robust' server and run multiple (server)instances on that single power machine.

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