"Reaching the next major milestone in virtualization development, Microsoft Corp. today made broadly available a feature-complete release candidate of Microsoft Hyper-V, the hypervisor-based virtualization software available with various versions of Windows Server 2008. A beta of Hyper-V was included with Windows Server 2008 when it launched last month, and this release candidate provides updated, near-final code."

"The release candidate features an expanded list of tested and qualified guest operating systems, which now includes Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2), Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3. Host server and language support has been expanded to include the 64-bit (x64) versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter, with English, German and Japanese language options available as well as enablement of Hyper-V on international locales, and further language options and support available in the final release. In addition, the release candidate comes with support for more hardware configurations and offers improved performance and scalability. It also includes the option for installing Hyper-V Manager Microsoft Management Console on Windows Vista SP1 for remote management."

This is great news.  Having the integration components for OS's such as XP and Vista mean I can extend my testing even further and have a much more refined experience on the platform.  Best of all?  It's ahead of schedule.  This a cracking stuff from the Product team, and I'm sure that it won't be too long before we're talking about the final Hyper-V!  Hopefully anyway!

You can pull down the RC0 update from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=DDD94DDA-9D31-4E6D-88A0-1939DE3E9898&displaylang=en and there's plenty of information on Jeff's Blog, and the Windows Server Team Blog.

Get download and testing!