Virtualization.info is reporting that Microsoft will field a first preview test build of its Windows hypervisor technology, codenamed "Viridian," simultaneously with Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate (RC) 0.
Microsoft isn't denying the story. It is partially confirming the details. A corporate spokeswoman responded to my inquiry with the following:
"An early build (customer technology preview) of Windows Server virtualization will be available with the initial release candidate of Windows Server 2008. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks."
Viridian, a k a Windows Server Virtualization, is an add-on for Windows Server 2008 that Microsoft has said will ship within 180 days of whenver Windows Server 2008 is released to manufacturing. Microsoft's latest RTM target for Windows Server 2008 is some unspecified time in the first quarter of 2008. In May, Microsoft cut back on some of the features it planned to deliver with the first Viridian release in order to maintain its "within 180-day" ship target for its Windows Server 2008 virtualization technology.
Microsoft has already delivered Windows Server 2008 RC0 to certain Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers, according to reports. Microsoft is expected to release RC0 to a wider audience, possibly as early as the week of September 10.
Microsoft has said it plans to make virtualization available to Windows Server 2008 customers as an administrator-selectable role. Once the hypervisor is made available for download, Microsoft also plans to tout virtualization as a feature that's integrated into the server operating system itself.
Given that Microsoft virtualization rival VMware is slated to hold its VMWorld 2007 conference the week of September 10, Microsoft may preparing to use the availability of the first hypervisor test build as one piece of its "spoiler" news around that event.