It wasn't due for another six weeks or so, but today Microsoft surprised many folk by starting to sell its new Hyper-V server virtualisation software. Microsoft had repeatedly told anyone who asked, and anyone who was listening, that it would be released in August. However, Microsoft customers were alerted to the fact that they could actually start downloading it today from the Microsoft website.
That is, the final Release to Manufacturing version is now available for full deployment into production environments. A beta of Hyper-V was included with Windows Server 2008 and this update provides the final release version.
According to IT Pro this will put added pressure on to virtualisation rival VMware. Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio told them that Microsoft's entry into the virtualisation market will give VMware customers bargaining power to negotiate discounts. "I always tell companies to press very hard on pricing when negotiating with all software companies," DiDio said. "It's a buyer's market."