Microsoft's chairman Bill Gates announced the release of three beta 2 products at WinHEC 2006. The products are:
- Windows Vista beta 2
- Office 2007 beta 2
- Windows Longhorn Server beta 2
More details on the release of Windows Vista beta 2 can be found here. Along with a demo of Vista, Microsoft demonstrated the streamlined user interface of Office 2007 beta 2. Another technology showcased was Windows side show, a technology that allows devices like a digital picture frame or a smart phone or any side show compatible device to cache and display convenient information like calendar and recent email.
Windows Longhorn Server beta 2 was shown with Windows Hypervisor which is Microsoft's virtualization technology. Gates demonstrated two ground breaking features in Windows Hypervisor. A Longhorn Server showed 4 virtual machines running on top of Windows Hypervisor. They were:
- 32 bit Windows 2000 with a single processor and 1 GB RAM
- 32 bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux with a single processor and 1 GB RAM
- Windows Server 2003 x64 edition running with 4 GB RAM and two processors (breaking old memory limitation with PAE support for virtual guests)
- Windows Longhorn Server x64 edition running with 4 GB RAM and four processors which scales beyond existing virtualization technologies
In addition to the larger memory sizes and more virtual CPUs, Windows Hypervisor also adds hot add capability. The guest instance of Windows Server 2003 was given a new Ethernet adapter from the Windows Hypervisor MMC (Microsoft Management Console) user interface and the device instantly appeared inside the virtual machine. One gigabyte of RAM was added to the Longhorn virtual machine and it instantly showed up in the Longhorn Server task manager.