So far Microsoft had a controversy position about Vista virtualization, changing its mind several times: only the Business, Ultimate and Enterprise editions of the client OS could be virtualized, generating much complains among students and many home users.
The announcement of Microsoft extended strategy for virtualization (now finally official after yesterday’s leaks) unveils a change of direction: both Home Basic and Home Premium editions can be finally virtualized.
If Microsoft wants to expedite the adoption of its client OS in different VDI environments (from corporate VDI infrastructures in SMBs to hosted VDI infrastructure for non-business uses) it has to offer the entire product line and not just the most expensive editions, which would negatively impact on costs.
Another possible explaination may be related to the wild success obtained by Apple and Parallels/VMware in spreading virtualization among the masses (and in many cases facilitating the migration to Mac OS X).
Until November 2007 Apple didn’t permit virtualization of its operating system, but with a sudden licensing change the company now allows Mac OS X Server in a VM (as soon as it stays on any Apple physical hardware).
This may be the first step before extending the same change to the client version of the OS, allowing Leopard to become the only platform where to run every virtualized OS. And just in case this happens Microsoft wants to be there with all its Vista editions.
At this point it’s worth to consider if Microsoft is regretting to have dismissed its Virtual PC for Mac.