Microsoft Muscles Into Virtualization Market

Microsoft has made a trio of announcements in its quest to take on VMware and others in the fast-growing area of virtualization.The Redmond giant?s moves comprise:

1. The purchase of Calista Technologies, a Silicon Valley start-up that makes software that helps run a user's desktop computing environment remotely on a server system.

2. An expanded alliance with Citrix Systems to deliver a comprehensive set of virtualization solutions to address the desktop and server virtualization needs of customers.

3. Easing up on licencing policies to allow use of virtualization software with more versions of its Windows Vista operating system, and lowering some fees associated with using the technology.

Virtualization isolates a computer's hardware from key pieces of software, bringing such benefits as the ability to run multiple operating systems simultaneously?including Windows and Mac--on a single computer. The technique has become popular for exploiting unused computing capacity on low-end server systems.

For SMBs, as well as enterprises, virtualization reduces total cost of operation and boosts system performance. The resulting consolidation also saves on space, electricity and time spent managing IT assets.The Wall Street Journal, CNN/

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Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer