Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 is now FREE!

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 is now FREE!

Summary: A few months ago when VMware released a free VMware Player, I challenged Microsoft to do the same. Not only has Microsoft answered, but they've gone a step further and made their Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition FREE!

TOPICS: Virtualization

A few months ago when VMware released a free VMware Player, I challenged Microsoft to do the same.  Not only has Microsoft answered, but they've gone a step further and made their Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition FREE!  I received the following note from a Microsoft spokesperson.

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 was first launched in September 2004; the cost was $999 for Enterprise Edition and $499 for Standard Edition. In December 2005 Microsoft began offering Virtual Server 2005 for $199 Enterprise Edition and $99 Standard Edition. As of today, Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition is free to download here. Standard Edition is no longer being offered. Additionally, the availability of virtual machine add-ins for Linux and a technical product support model for Linux guest operating systems running on Virtual Server 2005 R2

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise edition will allow you to run production environments when it's installed on Windows 2003 server but you can run it on Windows XP with SP2 for lab testing purposes.  As the virtualization battle heats up for control of the virtualization world, things are getting even more interesting.  Now if only Microsoft will make it possible to distribute preconfigured application servers based on the 90-day demo version of Windows, they might actually close in on VMware's lead with their virtual machine download center which has made it easier than ever to try out FreeBSD and Linux based solutions.  Currently there is no way to legally distribute complex Windows-based virtual machines because of Windows licensing and this gives Linux and FreeBSD a huge advantage in getting in to the door of companies who want to preview a technology before they deploy it.  Allowing the distribution of virtual Windows appliances based on the 90-day demo license would solve this problem.

Topic: Virtualization

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  • What the frog

    There's no incentive to run Linux on Windows.
    And Microsoft Virtual Server runs on top of Windows.

    There's a BIG incentive to run Xen and Windows on Linux.

    Microsoft knows this is the emerging VM trend and so can absorb the cost of this strategic decision.

    -- MS announces Virtual Server 2005 R2 is now FREE

    -- MS announces support for Linux running on their Virtual Server.

    -- VMWare opens their vmx file specification

    -- XenSource introduces XenEnterprise

    Was it a 'full moon' yesterday?

    What the frog is going on! ;)

    D T Schmitz
    • Note that VHD format from Microsoft is license free

      Anyone can use Microsoft's VHD format. XenSource even signed on to it.
      • VMX / No Restrictions Open FREE

        Taken directly from this article:

        [i]"At LinuxWorld, VMware - which competes against Microsoft and will compete against Xen open-source virtualization - responded by announcing the availability of its virtual machine disk format specification to developers and vendors without royalties, restrictions or the need for licensing.[/i]"

        Next! :)
        D T Schmitz
    • One more

      Forgot about this one, probably the best news yet!:

      Oh, I forgot this one:

      --Xensource licenses Microsoft's VHD format!:

      What in tarnation is going on!

      Microsoft cozying up to XenSource?!:

      Frog I say! ;)
      D T Schmitz
    • Yes there is

      "There's no incentive to run Linux on Windows."

      There are many sites than run windows server and has a policy that
      it is the supported server install. The ability to run Linux on these
      servers is a good way to get around this policy.

      It is a very bold move by MS and the realisation that Linux is
      seriously in demand by their enterprise customers, particularly on
      the server.
      Richard Flude
      • VT

        The VT market is yet to be realized. This is from where the potential growth for Xen and XenEnterprise will come.

        Hope that helps to put my remarks into context.

        Thanks Richard! :)
        D T Schmitz
  • Windows trial license

    [i]Currently there is no way to legally distribute complex Windows-based virtual machines because of Windows licensing[/i]

    Microsoft already offers 180-day licenses for Windows Server 2003 (as well as most of their application and system servers), so I imagine it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to build a "trial-size" VM with a complete Windows solution, ready-to-run.
    • They're looking at it.

      I'm asking them to see if they would do this and they won't comment yet. But their spokesperson said their always looking at new ideas.
      • George, their??..they're...short for "they are"

        their is posessive....their food, their home, their OS.
        • OK

          [i]They're[/i] ew go nit pckng agin!
          We undrstd wht George ment.
          D T Schmitz
        • Fast mistake

          You see the usage of they're in the title, it was a mistake in the body.
  • even if its free

    never trust M$ never period ... there must be something smelly under that
  • Have they caught up with VMWare yet?

    Last time I tried Virtual PC (yesterday) it lacked the performance of VMWare and Snapshot abilities, as well as being less user friendly. Oh, and it didn't support multiple processors.

    I got so disgusted with it I used VMWare to convert my VPC machines into VMWare machines (simple - you just have to open it) and used that instead. VMWare's GSX server will also be free when it's released. AFAIK MS still don't have anything to compete with ESX server, so ESX is the only way to go if you want to get serious about virtualisation.

    So why should I bother with Virtual PC/Server?
    • No and get the FACTS here

      Virtual Server and other Xen and Parallels compete with the VMware's (formerly known as GSX Server). Which is also ALSO FREE. Only is is more robuster and a lot of client have had experience with the GSX Server.

      Having said that, VMware has ESX Server, mainframe product and there is no product to my knowledge that has the capacity to compete with it.

      So the Installing a Software Virtualization solution like ones offered by Parallels, Xen, Virtual Server etc competes directly with Vmware's FREE Virtual Server.

      And there is no product to compete with ESX!
  • Sounds good

    While I don't think Microsoft released this because George challenged them to, this is still good news ;-)
  • Only fools do trial software now.

    Only fools do trial software now. Some of these offers are so gunked up with spyjunk it's not worth it.
    You have to look very closely at any trial software anymore. Take the Oracle 10 freebie? "I'LL HAVE A LOOK AT MY FRIENDLY ORACLE OFFERING". "I"LL SAVE IT OFF SOMEPLACE AND THEN INSTALL IT".
    Wise up, click download on that, and it goes into auto install. After you instantly decide I don't like this product. Click the friendly help file and search for uninstall - It didn't come up with the word.
    I'd read somewhere (by someone who had experience of the download) that this M$ Virtual Server asked you for your information in order to download it.
    I wonder what Windows Freebie Trial downloads are like for questions etc.
    Anyway, regardless of all that, It's good M$ is providing the software. Hopefully it's really free, like the XEN for Win/Linux (really FREE).
    zdnet reader