Gartner predicts a hypervisor for Vista by mid-2009, accuses Microsoft to slow down virtualization adoption

Quoting from ComputerWeekly:

Gartner fellow, Brian Gammage, said, “Microsoft’s licensing terms for Windows Vista running in VMs are unjustified; in addition, these terms are widely perceived as being designed to delay market adoption of competitive virtualisation software.”

Gartner expects Microsoft to release a hypervisor for Windows Vista by mid-2009, which would lead to a rapid increase in the number of virtualised installations. Gammage said, “To accommodate this change, Microsoft will need to make a number of adjustments to Windows licensing and product use rights.”…

Read the whole article at source.

Putting aside predictions, it’s true Microsoft has to do something for its desktop virtualization strategy. So far in fact company only talked about Windows Server Virtualization (WSV, formerly codename Viridian), which will be a bare-metal hypervisor solution.

No words have been spent to address desktop virtualization need for customers which saw few and non-competitive improvements over years on Virtual PC.

Possibly Microsoft wants to approach virtualization in two different ways: hardware virtualization with WSV on server-side, and application virtualization with SoftGrid (acquired in 2006 from Softricity) on client-side.

If Microsoft decides to offer hardware virtualization also for desktop instead, it has three choices: continue improving Virtual PC, which seems unlikely considering investments made so far in WSV, adapt WSV to work with Windows Vista, which could require long time before seeing a working product, or buy a vendor already offering a competitve solution in this segment (e.g.: Parallels, innotek).

Parallels acquistion woudld imply SWsoft acquisition as well, which makes sense, considering Microsoft willing to offer OS virtualization beside hardware and application virtualization.

In all cases Microsoft has to clarify strategy as soon as possible and deliver it without further delays to avoid VMware taking unrecoverable market shares.

The Virtualization Industry Predictions has been updated accordingly.