Toens Bueker pointed my attention to a Cambridge University virtualization project called Xen.
Quoting from project homepage:
Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation. Xen is Open Source software, released under the terms of the GNU General Public License. We have a fully functional port of Linux 2.4 running over Xen, and regularly use it for running demanding applications like MySQL, Apache and PostgreSQL. Any Linux distribution (RedHat, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake) should run unmodified over the ported OS, but there is a Debian Xen 1.2 package for easy install. Christian Limpach has contributed a NetBSD port and a Linux 2.6 port, and with assistance from Microsoft Research a port of Windows XP is nearly complete. A FreeBSD port is in progress.
Notice that Microsoft Research is contributing in this work. And Xen developers reports about Windows XP porting:
The Windows XP port is nearly finished. It’s running user space applications and is generally in pretty good shape thanks to some hard work by the team over the summer. Of course, there are issues with releasing this code to others. We should be able to release the source and binaries to anyone that has signed the Microsoft academic source license, which these days has very reasonable terms. We are in discussions with Microsoft about the possibility of being able to make binary releases to a larger user community. Obviously, there are issues with product activation in this environment which need to be thought through.
Also notice this project has a lot of roadmapped high-class features like “live migration” (that VMware calls VMotion) and 64bit architecture support.
Wanna try? Go on and download a custom linux (Red Hat 9) live-cd with Xen preinstalled!
Thanks Toens, this was a big one.