innotek to launch its own hypervisor, tightly connected with Microsoft

Germany startup innotek is not just lastest player in the virtualization industry, offering a new hosted virtualization solution called VirtualBox.

innotek is preparing to launch another virtualization product, this time a true hypervisor (like VMware ESX Server, Xen and upcoming Microsoft Windows Server Virtualizatoin or codename Viridian), called hyperkernel.

Based on existing product’s description hyperkernel is going to be the first microkernel based hypervisor on the market (VMware ESX Server vmkernel is not).

The information is interesting not just in itself but also because innotek is based near Stuttgart, but has offices in Dresden too, where a microkernel called L4 is developed as university project (with some interesting applications in virtualization).

Last but not least innotek seems to have a very tight connection with Microsoft, since it Partners page reports:

innotek has a strategic relationship with Microsoft related to its leading edge virtual machine products, Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server. innotek has developed several features of the Microsoft virtualization products.

Is upcoming Windows hypervisor based on L4 microkernel and developed by innotek?

Update: Microsoft provided an official answer to this speculation denying any innoted involvement in current codename Viridian development:

Innotek’s strategic relationship with Microsoft is specific to the development of virtual machine add-ins that allow Virtual PC to run OS/2 and Virtual Server 2005 R2 to run non-Windows operating systems as guest VMs.

Innotek also provides escalation support for OS/2 running on Virtual PC. The partnership is limited to those items. And it has been a successful partnership in that there have been more than 15,000 downloads of the VM add-ins for Virtual Server 2005 R2 in the first 12 months, allowing customers to consolidate servers running up to 9 different versions of RedHat or Suse Linux.