Microsoft keeps the pressure on VMware around its latest virtualization licensing changes

Microsoft has no plans to follow VMware's lead with new pricing/licensing changes in the virtualization space that have led to VMware customer outcry. In fact, with Windows 8, Microsoft is taking the opposite tack, officials said.

After considerable outcry by its customers over proposed licensing changes, VMware recently backtracked and modified some of the new conditions it is introducing as part of its vSphere 5 virutalization product. But Microsoft officials are still finding fodder for vSphere licensing and pricing critiques -- even after VMware's latest updates.

In a lengthy and detailed August 15 post on the Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog, entitled "Beware the VMware Memory vTax Part 2...," the Softies claimed that even with the proposed modifications, VMware is still imposing a price hike and more restrictive terms on its customers. VMware's changes have led to a flood of mail from users seeking information on Microsoft's take on them, according to the blog post.

VMware announced plans in July to license and price its virtualization technology based on the amount of virtual RAM assigned to a virtual machine (VM) with vSphere 5.0. In early August, VMware announced it would bend a bit; though the new licensing scheme basically would remain the same, it dropped the pricing in certain cases.

"Even after modifying the vSphere 5.0 memory entitlements (on August 3), the fundamental tax on memory still exists, which is an anathema to customers, and VMware is still receiving colorful feedback from their customers," said Jeff Woolsey, Principal Program Manager Lead for Windows Server Virtualization, in Microsoft's latest post.

Woolsey reiterated that Microsoft isn't planning to make similar licensing or pricing changes around VM memory, cores or replication.

"Per VM taxes are what virtualization vendors do, not strategic cloud providers," Woolsey blogged. He also noted that the amount of memory in a Hypver-V VM in Windows 8 Server "is going to go up. Way up."

Microsoft showed off an early peek at its next Hyper-V release that will be part of Windows 8 at the Worldwide Partner Conference in July. Microsoft officials showed off the ability to create VMs with more than 16 virtual processors and touted the coming Hyper-V Replica technology.

"These are just 2 of the hundreds of features coming in the Microsoft Private Cloud, of which you’ll be able to find out more about at Microsoft’s BUILD conference, September 13th-16th in Anaheim, CA," Woolsey blogged.

A few other virtualization tidbits from around the Web from this week: