MonkCast #6: Oh the pain! The pain of desktop virtualization!

In this week's MonkCast (a joint production between ZDNet and the IT research outfit RedMonk), I go solo with one of RedMonk's Three Musketeers: Michael Cote. Although we covered all sorts of stuff from why Apple still isn't licensing its OS X operating system (but gee, it's sure knocking on the door with both iTunes and Safari for Windows) to whether trackpads are better than pointing sticks, this week's subject was virtualization.

In this week's MonkCast (a joint production between ZDNet and the IT research outfit RedMonk), I go solo with one of RedMonk's Three Musketeers: Michael Cote. Although we covered all sorts of stuff from why Apple still isn't licensing its OS X operating system (but gee, it's sure knocking on the door with both iTunes and Safari for Windows) to whether trackpads are better than pointing sticks, this week's subject was virtualization.  Virtualization is one of Cote's areas of expertise.

I start off by ranting about the challenges I've had in carving up an IBM Thinkpad X60 Tablet into a couple of different virtual machines (one for work, the other for personal business).  It hasn't been easy. But I'm getting close to having what I consider to be a really good configuration that not only keeps my business and personal life separate (eg: that fun software for my keychhain photo viewer can't corrupt my corporate e-mail anymore), but that also will make it infinitely easier to move my entire Windows installation lock stock and barrell to another system (in minutes rather than days or weeks).   and by and large, I'm happy with the results now that a lot of the hard work it getting things up and running is out of the way.

Eventually, though, we turn to the big virtualization news coming out of Microsoft's camp. This week, after briefing press and analysts that it would let its customers run the lower cost version of Windows Vista in virtual machine solutions from VMWare, Parallels, and even Microsoft itself (Virtual PC), the company stopped the presses and withdrew the announcement.  Cote sense is that virtualization is so disruptive that even those in the virtualization business aren't exactly clear on what the long term ramifications of a liberal virtualization policy (like the one Microsoft was contemplating) might be.  Personally speaking, I think virtualization poses a great many challenges to any operating system vendor whose business depends heavily on OS sales (eg: not necessarily the various Linux distributors).

Anyway, to hear the podcast, just press the play button above. Or,  for more information about subscribing to the MonkCast and other ZDNet podcasts, check my How-To.

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