Paul Thurrott, a Microsoft MVP, reports on Windows Network & .NET Magazine:
Last week’s editorial about virtual machines (VMs) generated several email discussions, but the most frequent question I received concerned 64-bit computing. What are VMware and Microsoft doing to support 64-bit platforms with their VM environments? Although I’m still waiting for a reply from Microsoft, I was able to talk with VMware, and I think you’ll be pleased with the response. First, VMware will support AMD Athlon 64 and Intel x86 64-bit (i.e., non-Itanium) platforms with new releases of all its virtualization products. VMware will release these products over the next 18 months, starting with a preview 64-bit version of its VMware Workstation product that should ship this summer. The company’s 64-bit products will be compatible with all the 16-bit and 32-bit VMs rolled out on today’s x86 systems, giving customers clear migration possibilities for the future.
Most interesting, perhaps, is the support VMware plans for 64-bit guests (i.e., software-based virtual environments). Over time, VMware will support every possible combination of 32-bit and 64-bit hardware and software, so eventually you’ll be able to run 64-bit VM environments on both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware. This interoperability means that customers will be able to test 64-bit compatibility on their current 32-bit systems, before moving to new 64-bit hardware. This capability won’t be available immediately, but I’m impressed that it’s going to happen.
Wondering about Itanium support? VMware says it will monitor that market, but my gut feeling is that Itanium sales will never reach the volumes needed for VMware to support it.
In my last post I supposed ESX and GSX 64bit products would be released within 6 months after 64bit Workstation edition, then maybe I went wrong of some months.