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."

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As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.