Microsoft is set to release in the next 30 days its stand-alone Hyper-V technology for free, upping the game in the virtualization sector as it chases VMware.
Hyper-V, released in June, is included in most versions of Windows Server 2008. But the company has been charging $28 for a stand-alone version that could be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site. The free Hyper-V will be offered as a download on Microsoft's Web site.
A future version of Hyper-V, to be included in Windows Server 2008 R2, will also have a Live Migration feature that lets administrators move applications to other servers as they're running. That release is expected around 2010.
Microsoft also plans to release within the next month System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which has been available as a beta since April. The software is used for provisioning and managing virtual machines, among other tasks. It's compatible with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 or VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3, the company said.
Microsoft has been scrambling to create a full package of virtualization tools and technology to compete with companies such as VMware. IT administrators see virtualization as a way to get more performance from their hardware, as it allows multiple operating systems to run on one physical server.
Last week, Microsoft released App-V 4.5, which allows applications to be streamed from a central servers to PCs or devices.
Microsoft plans to have a press event later on Monday on the latest announcements.
Correction: This article as originally posted mischaracterized the Hyper-V product. The story has been amended.