Microsoft to Give Away Upgraded Hyper-V Software

Microsoft is set to release over the next 30 days an upgraded version of its Hyper-V technology for free, upping the game in the virtualization sector as it chases VMware.

Hyper-V, released in June, is included in most versions of Windows Server 2008. But the company has been charging US$28 for a stand-alone version that could be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site.

The new version of Hyper-V will also have a Live Migration feature that lets administrators move applications as they're running to other servers. The latest Hyper-V will be offered as a download on Microsoft's Web site.

Microsoft also plans to release within the next month System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which has been available as a beta since April. The software is used for provisioning and managing virtual machines, among other tasks. It's compatible with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 or VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3, the company said.

Microsoft has been scrambling to create a full package of virtualization tools and technology to compete with companies such as VMware. IT administrators see virtualization as a way to get more performance from their hardware, as it allows multiple operating systems to run on one physical server.

Last week, Microsoft released App-V 4.5, which allows applications to be streamed from a central servers to PCs or devices.

Microsoft plans to have a press event later on Monday on the latest announcements.

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