Free Hyper-V

It worked with browsers -- so does that mean it will work with hypervisors? Microsoft apparently thinks so, as it's now giving away Hyper-V.

We've called Hyper-V virtually free since it was only supposed to cost $28 (a strange price indeed). Now it's literally free. The $28 price cut was made during a huge Microsoft virtualization rollout announcing the imminent delivery of the standalone rev of Hyper-V.

Trying to match the attention this is getting, VMware in turn announced that customers were eschewing the Microsoft tool (which hasn't even really shipped) in favor of ESX. The VMware press release pointed to a couple of companies that recently had large-scale ESX rollouts. Not sure how that turns into "VMware Momentum Builds as Customers Select VMware Platform over Microsoft Hypervisor"!

Red Hat Goes Virtual
The greatest virtualization company you've probably never heard of is now part of Red Hat.

Qumranet was unknown to me before Redmond magazine Editor Ed Scannell did an interview with its CEO. I found out from Ed (and CEO Benny Schnaider) that Qumranet has an open source Type 2 hypervisor. That means the hypervisor runs on top of an OS (in this case Linux) and the OS runs against the processor.

Red Hat, which paid just north of $100 million for Qumranet, is now hoping to push this hypervisor, called KVM, as the primary solution for Linux. With Red Hat's muscle and Xen owner Citrix's love of Hyper-V, Red Hat might just get its way.

Red Hat also gets a commercial desktop virtualization product out of the deal. There are quite a few of those in the market already.

Supercollider To Clobber Earth?
The new multibillion-dollar supercollider in Switzerland has many scientists excited about discovering the origins of our universe -- and others claiming it will spell our doom. The collider has the potential to create microscopic black holes, which turn into larger black holes that could literally eat the earth alive.

My take? The thing is probably safe, but when you're manipulating the very structures that created the universe, you better be darn sure you know what you're doing.

Is it worth the risk? Are the fear mongers crackpots or the only ones making sense? Hurry and send your thoughts to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: Microsoft and Standards, More
John writes that while new technology is great, backward compatibility is nothing to sneeze at:

I had a nightmare this past weekend. I dreamed that Office 2007 would not read all the old Microsoft Word documents. This was particularly terrifying, because I work at a courthouse and we have more than 10 years of historical and legal electronic documents from various Word versions that we may have to read and print. If the most recent version of Word won't do this, we will have to keep older systems and software versions for that purpose.

For 10 years, I have been telling people to move to a paper-less world, but the threat of unreadable electronic documents scares me. There has been a lot of noise in the past few years about electronic document standards. Microsoft seems resistant to the idea. The threat of having unreadable electronic documents in the public or private sector is very real and should scare people to think about standards. I have been using personal computers for almost 30 years and have many documents at home on hard-sectored 5 1/4-inch and 8-inch floppy disks. I suspect I may never see these documents again. Already, the 3 1/2-inch floppy is fading from use, but how many home computer users have photos and documents on such disks? New technology is great, but we must have a backward eye for both legal and personal reasons.
-John

And Dave thinks that you can pan Apple's Newton all you want -- it still had a few things going for it:

In a recent article, you spoke about Apple's Newton as a big mistake, and rightly so. Even so, take a moment to reflect on what Apple got right. No matter what else Apple missed with Newton, one thing it got right was the form factor. Right now, it would be the ideal size to replace my ultra-Micro PC and my iPhone. In landscape mode, we could have a virtual keyboard that we could actually type on. In either mode, we would have a screen big enough for useful free-hand drawing. Don't get me started about how much better it would be for videos or the maps we use in navigation. Ideally, we could have it use cellular IP for everything, including phone and answering service. With the newer technologies used in producing the MacBook Air, we could have the whole package in a slim, light tablet. Wow.

In the world of personal computing, the future's so bright, you gotta wear shades.
-Dave

Share your thoughts by filling out the comment form below, or sending an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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