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Microsoft strikes back at VMware's attack

Microsoft strikes back at VMware's attack

Microsoft releases another statement responding to VMware's attack on Microsoft's virtualization strategies

In the whitepaper, VMWare lists a number of objections it has with the way Microsoft is approaching the virtualization market and what it is doing with licensing restrictions and other virtualization capabilities on the current Windows platform and upcoming improvement in Longhorn Server, including high-performance virtual machine technology called hypervisor.

In the summary of its whitepaper, VMware states: "Microsoft needs to fundamentally accommodate market choice and interoperability. Customers require freedom of choice to implement both Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications running on Windows with any chosen system virtualization layer. Customers do not benefit from being forced into a homogenous virtualization/OS/application stack."

VMWare said Microsoft needs to address those customers requirements and "needs to follow business practices, licensing and technology disclosure policies that result in the ability of Windows-based applications and OS's to be created, licensed, supported and distributed equivalently on Microsoft or non-Microsoft system virtualization stacks."

The company concludes that Microsoft is denying customer's choice by limiting who can run the company's software and how they can run it. Some of VMware's specific gripes include:

-- Microsoft has developed proprietary APIs (including but not limited to what Microsoft calls "Enlightenments") for Longhorn that manage communication between Windows and Microsoft's hypervisor.

-- Microsoft's Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) End User License Agreements forbid the conversion of the Microsoft VMs into any virtual machine format other than the VHD format.

-- Some Microsoft VHDs are now configured to de-activate themselves if they are run on any virtualization product besides Microsoft Virtual PC or Virtual Server.

-- Microsoft has posted language that restricts use of their VHD-formatted VMs ("VHDs") to MS Virtual Server and/or Virtual PC only.

-- Microsoft is restricting support to its Premier-level support customers.


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