Good afternoon Virtual Server enthusiasts!  I have some great news!  Today, Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition will be available at no charge, free, gratis, complimentary, on the house!!!! 

This is the full Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise edition available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions that we shipped in last year. This is not a trial or limited version in any way. This is a fully-supported product, not some unsupported Trojan horse designed to get you to update a multi-thousand dollar per-processor, per-server product. Virtual machines created today with Virtual Server will be able to migrate into our hyper visor based Windows virtualization. This is a risk free proposition and it’s the real deal.

Take a look here for the ordering your free copy: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/software/default.mspx

Why is this happening!? Simple. It has been stated publicly that we’re developing virtualization technology going into Longhorn Server so we want people getting used to the idea that virtualization should be free.

Secondly, there is going to be Linux support (see below) and availability of our VM Additions for Linux. In case you’re wondering how these distributions were picked, it’s simple. We asked and listened to our valued customers.  Take a look here for the full announcement: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/evaluation/news/bulletins/vs05pricing.mspx 

Question: I’ve heard that Microsoft supports Linux guest operating systems in Virtual Server 2005 R2. Is this true?
Answer: Yes, support for Linux guests started April 3rd 2006 coinciding with LinuxWorld. The list of Linux OSes that we will support is also posted on the Virtual Server 2005 portal on MS.com, as well as reflected in a KB article. At the same time, we are also releasing Virtual Machine Additions for Linux that can be used to improve the experience of running a Linux guest in Virtual Server. The VM Additions for Linux are distributed for a no-fee license via connect.microsoft.com starting the week of April 3rd 2006.

Supported Linux guest operating systems within Virtual Server R2 are:

  • Enterprise distributions:
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (update 6)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (update 6)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
    • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9

  • Standard distributions:
    • Red Hat Linux 7.3
    • Red Hat Linux 9.0
    • SuSE Linux 9.2
    • SuSE Linux 9.3
    • SuSE Linux 10

 Cheers and happy downoading!  I look forward to hearing your comments on this!