TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft Opens Virtual Drives for Free

Microsoft Opens Virtual Drives for Free

Reuters News Wire (
Wed, 18 Oct 2006 12:25:37 -0500

Microsoft said on Tuesday it would allow anyone to use its
specifications for "virtual" drives, which enable one computer to run
several operating systems, with the promise never to sue for
infringement of its legal rights.

The Microsoft virtualisation software has been available for more than
two years, but as computers become more powerful the use of
virtualisation is expected to mushroom, the company said at a news

The software permits the easy use of several operating systems on one
machine. So, for example, dangerous software could be installed on a
virtual machine without affecting the host computer.

The company's specifications will be made available to anyone who
wants to use them under an "Open Specification Promise," introduced
last month.

The company said the license was "an irrevocable promise from
Microsoft to every individual and organization in the world to make
use of this patented technology for free, now and forever when
implementing specified open standards."

Earlier this year, Microsoft said it would team up with Linux supplier
XenSource to supply the virtual specifications to permit Windows and
Linux to run on the same machines.

Such virtual software is also made by VMWare, a unit of EMC Corp.,
which helped pioneer the market.

The question of making software open to others has been at issue in
Brussels, where the European Commission has ordered Microsoft to share
protocols with rival makers of servers.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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