The latest version of Microsoft's Windows Server operating system, released Wednesday, incorporates features that launch Microsoft into the virtualization market, territory belonging to market leader VMware.
Virtualization is one of the fastest-growing segments of the software industry because it breaks up the traditional computer of one piece of operating software per machine. With virtualization, one computer can run several operating systems, allowing one machine to conduct two to three times as many operations as a machine running one OS.
Instead of offering virtualization as a separate product, Microsoft is building the technology into its core operating system, a move that could give the company a leg up over its competitors. Windows accounts for two-thirds of shipments of computer operating systems. Even so, VMware, sensing rising competition from Microsoft, announced an agreement on Tuesday to preinstall its virtualization software into computer servers from Dell Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and IBM Corp.