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Re: [Rival] Microsoft Virtually Nowhere

  • Subject: Re: [Rival] Microsoft Virtually Nowhere
  • From: Rex Ballard <rex.ballard@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 08:53:45 -0700 (PDT)
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On May 27, 9:53 am, Roy Schestowitz <newsgro...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Hash: SHA1
> Microsoft a distant third in mock debate on virtualization
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | VMware's going to win the virtualization battle, and Microsoft won't even be
> | its nearest competitor.

Not that surprising really.  VMWare lets you use Windows or Linux as
the primary OS and then lets you run Linux or Windows clients quite
reliably.  VMWare also has lots of "Appliances" such as base OS
configurations, as well as a variety of good tools for creating
appliances, including Converter, and Workstation.

Xen lets you run Linux as the host OS and still runs Windows very
efficiently as a client.  Alas, no good tools for creating a Windows
client that can be booted from Linux, based on the existing client

Either of these approaches gives you the ability to create virtual
machines for Windows that can be reliably backed up and recovered.
It's very easy to use snapshots to allow you to recover to the latest
version.  Even if the entire virtual windows drive gets corrupted by a
virus, the back-up, stored on a USB drive can easily be loaded back
into the host PC in a few minutes, and you have lost very little of
your work.

Both Xen and VMWare also let you have the speed, performance, and
security of Linux, with the convenience and familiarity of Windows.
Linux makes more effecient use of memory, mapping, swapping, and disk
caching.  The result is that Windows seems to run "faster" even though
it's running in a virtual environment.

For machines with more than 2 Gig of RAM, the Linux kernel also gives
you the advantage of being able to use a 64 bit kernel with 64 bit
addressing space, with the ability to run 32 bit VMs, giving you the
ability to efficiently manage the larger address space, especially
when you need to run multiple VMs.

Microsoft's Virtual PC gives you the worst of all systems.  You can
ONLY use Windows as the host OS, you have Windows garbage collection
and memory allocation contention issues, and there is almost no
support for non-Microsoft clients.  It's a lose-lose proposition.
About the only thing VPC has going for it, is that Microsoft might
decide to stick it into the next patch of Windows as "shovelware".
The prospect of a Vista Host that can only run Vista clients as
"supported" configurations just seems like a painfully bad solution.

True, you can run Linux VMs or even BSD VMs as clients, but these are
officially unsupported, and you lose most of the security, reliablity,
and availability features of Linux, while maintaining the nightmerish
lack of support for reliable back-up and recovery for the Vista host.

When it comes to Servers, VMWare has lots of advantages, including the
ability to dynamically balance loads across multiple physical servers
as well as automated mirroring and recovery to available hardware.  If
you have a large blade array, you can have 32, 64, or even 128 blades,
which can be populated dynamically based on availability of hardware,
performance needs, and security requirements.

> | That was the outcome of a mock debate last week in which analysts
> | representing VMware, Microsoft and the Xen open source hypervisor lobbied for
> | votes from an audience of IT executives attending Forrester Research's IT
> | Forum in Las Vegas.
> `----
> http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php?id=2050574009&rid=-50
> Organised by people whom Microsoft seemingly hires every now and then.
> “Analysts sell out - that’s their business model… But they are very concerned
> that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very
> prickly to work with.”
>                 Microsoft, internal document
>                http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/Comes-3096.pdf
> Recent:
> Quick-boot Linux environment makes a splash
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Asus says it plans to ship over a million Splashtop-ready motherboards per
> | month, making this one of the largest Linux deployments ever.
> `----

If it's anything like the boot in the ASUS EEE 4G, I can easily see
this as a winner.  This box boots up completely in less than 30
seconds, and that is to a fully functional system, not just a splash-
screen that still won't be usable for another 3-5 minutes (Like XP and

I've noticed that XP is becoming more "Unix-Like", including the
ability to launch a new application without demanding focus of the
mouse and keyboard to a "splash-screen" while the new application is
starting.  I can't help but wonder how much longer it will be before
we see "Microsoft Unix", especially now that Bill has retired.

> http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS3749512299.html
> Desktop virtualization is inevitable
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | At the risk of sounding like an IT marketing cliche, desktop virtualization
> | could be a win-win. IT gets operational simplicity and security while users
> | get freedom of choice. With virtualization in place, users can bring in their
> | familiar Macs and do their jobs without a hitch. Sure, the burden goes to the
> | data center and the network, but aren't we headed in that direction anyway?
> `----

I've recently seen a number of Mac users in the field.  They run Mac
for most of their applications, but when they need Windows, they run
Windows in a VM.  The result is that they can do what they have to do
in Windows (though they really hate it rabidly), and then do
everything else in OS/X.

I'm also starting to see more Linux users using this approach as well.

The good news (for Microsoft) is that Windows isn't going away (though
Vista has been a big flop), but Windows will now have a new role as
the CLIENT VM in a Linux or Unix based Host desktop OS.

In the long run, I think Ballmer may be willing to live with that.  If
it means that the OEMs are still buying 100 million licenses per year,
and the corporates are still buying support contracts for Windows,
then there is a market.

At this point, Microsoft's bigger problem is that most of the OSS
applications for Linux are now available for Windows, and more and
more people are opting not to upgrade, and stick with current versions
of MS-Office, Windows XP, and other popular applications, rather than
spend huge amounts on new releases with much higher memory
requirements and very little advantage in terms of productivity

At the same time, Linux is getting more and more high-end
applications, and is now becoming the first choice of many vendors for
ports.  After all, applications written to the Linux API sets can
easily be ported to Windows, Mac, and all UNIX variants, including
AIX, Solaris, and HP_UX, especially when "Linux compatibility
libraries" such as glibc are installed.

> http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9948276-7.html?part=rss&subj=news&t...


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