Jim Allchin, Microsoft vice-president for platforms, during an interview answered questions about company strategy about virtualization for its upcoming new operating system, codename Longhorn.
At least not as expected.
Quoting from ComputerWorld:
ComputerWorld: Which Longhorn features will help most in your competition against Linux?
Jim Allchin: We are working on partitioning. And that’s the ability to add processors and add memory while the system’s running. There’s a whole set of availability. The ability for fewer reboots. Componentization, I think, will be appreciated as well — and the role-based approach.
CW: To what extent will virtualization capabilities be built into the operating system?
JA: I hope everyone understands that virtualization is sort of a native part of an operating system from ground zero. We’ve virtualized the CPU to give processing. That’s what we do. And we’ve virtualized memory. That’s what virtual memory comes from. So all that’s happening now is, as the hardware progresses with more capability for virtualization, the OS is going to take advantage of it. Today we have stuff for products that are there because the hardware really doesn’t do everything we need it to do. But as the hardware does do it, it’s just a natural for the OS to support it.
On our current path, [there’s] some isolation that we do in Longhorn. Virtualization is not planned for Longhorn; well, that’s not true — some parts of it we are considering. But we won’t make it because the hardware won’t be ready. For example, virtualizing the I/O, it’s not there from the hardware, and that’s something that we would really like. So we will progressively extend the virtualization in the OS to take advantage of the hardware virtualization that’s there.
CW: Will you take features from your Virtual Server product and fold them into the operating system?
JA: What we want to do is take more advantage of the hardware as we move ahead.
CW: Will the Virtual Server product eventually go away?
JA: I can envision the path that there would be no Virtual Server product at some point. However, I could also envision the path that says there’s a thin hypervisor-level system and that there’s a separate virtualization stack that is sold separately. That’s also a possibility. So I don’t know. I think the world will evolve here, and I don’t think that necessarily anybody’s products today will necessarily stay the same in the future, because the hardware’s going to change this.
Said so it’s really probable will see a stand alone Virtual Server 2007 product for Longhorn server OS timeframe and a Longhorn R2 Virtualization Edition, including a native hypervisor as OS feature. I think Virtual Server will not disappear until codename BlackComb timeframe.