Summary: Following Microsoft’s hijack of the main virtualisation options, Red Hat turns its back on Xen
Microsoft is disturbing the virtualisation space in order to advance Windows servers (and to an extent desktops too). Two of Steve Ballmer’s close friends are taking care of the leader, VMware, which they gradually gain virtual ownership of. The goal here is to to harm GNU/Linux' commercial leader, Red Hat, using special (sometimes backroom) deals and Red Hat seems to be well aware of it. The details about Microsoft’s partnership with EMC are telling; attempts to grab control of VMware are more or less clear to see.
Microsoft has also hijacked XenSource using its buddy Citrix and probably Ignition Partners (this firm of former Microsoft employees was pumping in the money). It’s all about reducing choice and Red Hat’s choices are now fewer indeed. In fact, Red Hat defensively bought KVM just to ensure that it can control its own destiny and not lose through another hostile acquisition of dependents (like Oracle did to MySQL).
According to this new report from Paula Rooney, Red Hat will probably let Xen rot, in due time. Citrix is not serious about developing it anyway.
Red Hat said it will continue to support the Xen hypervisor in its enterprise 5 Linux release for several years but has embraced KVM for the long term. Last year Red Hat purchased KVM pioneer Qumranet to lead the way.
As Eben Moglen says in the following video, Microsoft is “used to buying stuff or crushing stuff.” In the virtualisation space, Microsoft does exactly that for survival. But how does that benefit consumers?
By harming virtualisation for Red Hat, Microsoft hopes to suppress the use of GNU/Linux in the server room. It’s already working on the hijack of open source software (see OSBC 2009 for details). Regarding Microsoft’s crusade to move all of "open source" to Windows, Pamela Jones wrote a couple of days ago: “Where to begin? First, open source applications running on Windows means no Linux kernel to benefit from. Note the article tells you clearly that Microsoft is still working hard to try to get open source applications to run right on Windows. Why not benefit from the full Linux experience instead of limping along on Windows, always a step behind? No. Really. And you might want to reread this article by Bruce Perens on the overview, to understand what I mean and what I think Microsoft means.” █
“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO