Microsoft gives Linux a virtual hug

by admin July 18, 2006 at 11:33 am

After years of hoping to crush Linux, Microsoft is trying to show it can get along with its open-source rival.

The software maker is announcing a partnership Monday night that will make sure its next virtualization technology can run versions of Linux that have been adapted for a different, open-source virtualization foundation called Xen. It is linking up with commercial software maker XenSource to offer joint development and support for the two technologies, which take a similar approach.

“What Microsoft and XenSource are committing to, effectively, is building a bridge” between the two tools, said Jeff Price, a senior director in Microsoft’s Windows Server group.

Both are based on the notion of a hypervisor–that is, low-level software that lets multiple operating systems share the same hardware. An operating system must be adapted for Xen to run best on the hypervisor. However, features in new processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices let unmodified operating systems, such as Windows, run on Xen. The Microsoft-XenSource collaboration is designed to return the compliment, letting Linux adapted for Xen also run on Microsoft’s hypervisor.

Full article: ZDNet