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Microsoft's Virtualisation Oligarchy Expands (Citrix/Microsoft)

Rumsfeld and Saddam
Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein



A FEW DAYS AGO, the impact of the Red Hat-Microsoft virtualisation agreement was last discussed along with rumours about an upcoming announcement from CItrix. The news is finally out (here is the press release) and to put it bluntly, Citrix only uses Xen to promote Windows and Microsoft. This was expected. As IDG puts it, "Microsoft, Citrix Join Forces Against VMware."



Citrix has more advanced management tools than Microsoft for virtual environments, and Microsoft hopes the partnership will help spread the use of Hyper-V in data centers. In return, Microsoft has pledged to manage XenServer environments with the next version of its Systems Center management software, which currently works only with Hyper-V and VMware's ESX. It will also market and sell Citrix Essentials for Microsoft Hyper-V to its customers worldwide, the companies said.


This is not competition but a grouping in the form of factions. Even VMware was captured by Microsoft to an extent, turning from a company which intended to file antitrust complaint/s against Microsoft into a company that's run by former Microsoft employees.

Dubbed "Project Encore," the Microsoft-Citrix effort seeks to repeat the pattern of collaboration and financial success that the two companies enjoyed with host-based computing in their respective Terminal Services and Presentation Server (formerly MetaFrame and called XenApp since last year) products. Rather than try to take both Microsoft and VMware on in a head-long fashion, Citrix would prefer the repeat the success it has had as a Microsoft partner for host-based computing, driving $1.6bn in annual sales in the nascent server virtualization market on x64 iron.


SJVN knew about this in advance and he wrote about it over the weekend. He also knows about the Novell layoffs.

Maybe, although I hope not, they'll be laying off employees after all. Their quarterly report is also next week, which is when the executives have to face up to the board and the stockholders. I don't know how well, or not, Novell is doing. I do know that in these tough times that Red Hat has been doing quite well.


Microsoft's deal with Citrix is hardly a surprise to many.

Citrix gets a Gold Star. Yes, that's right, they've partnered with Microsoft.


Virtualisation is sometimes made synonymous with all sorts of terms like "datacentes" (where the servers are located) or "clouds". Red Hat has in fact departed from this notion and went back to "virtualisation" as a favoured technical term and not a vague abstraction.

Regardless of terminology, the Washington Times has just described "cloud computing" as a threat to Microsoft and another person opines that Microsoft being "left out of cloud computing."

Moreover, and I found this out myself as CEO of two cloud computing companies, it’s just not very PC to leverage Microsoft these days. The VC doesn’t like it, the cloud computing end users don’t like it, and the developers don’t like it. Whatever PR war that was being fought by Microsoft in the emerging cloud space is long lost, if you ask me.


Microsoft has been on a vicious slog to reverse this trend. The worst one can do in this case is play along with them. The acquisition of XenSource may be part of this slog (coordinated in part with investments from former Microsoft employees) and it has been bad news from the very beginning.

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