Microsoft and XenSource to cooperate on bridging Linux and Windows through virtualisation

It might look as if Microsoft and the open source world are becoming a little bit closer. The Redmond giant and XenSource Inc. have announced a few days ago that they will cooperate on the development of technology to provide interoperability between Xen-enabled Linux and the forthcoming Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology-based Windows Server virtualization.

With the resulting technology, the next version of Windows Server, code-named "Longhorn," will provide customers with a virtualization solution across their hardware infrastructure and operating system environments for potential cost-saving consolidation of Windows, Linux and Xen-enabled Linux distributions.

Microsoft anticipates providing a beta release of Windows Server virtualization by the end of 2006 and plans to release the solution to manufacturing (RTM) within 180 days of the RTM of Windows Server "Longhorn," which is targeted for the end of 2007. Microsoft currently provides virtual machine add-ins and technical support for Linux guest operating systems running on Virtual Server 2005 R2.

And according to Microsoft’s own press release, Microsoft ‘will use commercially reasonable efforts to address potential issues with Microsoft software running in XenEnterprise’, although this will be limited to customers with Premier-level support agreements.