VMblog.com has an interesting interview with Mike Neil, Microsoft's general manager for virtulisation. In the interview Neil assesses the competition, licensing and security of virtulisation. There are some interesting questions, but some of Neil's answers sadly descend in to PR-speak. He disagrees with the suggestion that Microsoft is way behind VMware claiming that virtulisation is still a developing market. He also says that the dropping of Live Migration from the Viridian platform not a big deal since it was 'just a sexy feature [that] sounds really exciting" and goes on to suggest that it's not being used much in the VMware product.
One nice part of the interview, Neil claims that Microsoft are still developing Virtual PC and Virtual Server and that the respective teams have even grown. No indication of when better products will be available is given however. I use VPC in the classroom heavily and would love a better product - there's just too much flakieness involved with VPC. Plus VPC can't make use of multi-core systems the way VMware does. 64-bit support would also be very useful.
The final bit of bad or good news (depending on your point of view), Neil re-confirms that the hypervisor is still a year away. He cites February 2008 as the Longhorn Ship date, with the hypervisor is due to ship 6 months after that. He gives no dates on beta programs. I suspect that by the Longhorn "ship date" he means the launch date (I hope he's not implying a further slip of RTM!!). I'm hoping to see early versions coming in the next few months.