There is no doubt Microsoft is looking to make a splash with its hypervisor, and since they are Microsoft, they will have an impact on the market. And while the slides and demos I have seen are a big step forward for them, the reality of the delays and removal of features bothers me (I really think this is a bigger issue than they do).
If virtualization was still on the sidelines in most data centers, and the market was where it was one or two years ago, I might say wait. But let's assume that the Microsoft hypervisor looks as good as it does in the demos, and is released late in '08. You've now set your sites on a generation one product that has held your company back from saving money today. And you probably won't have the product fully implemented till '09. You will be dealing with the typical generation one issues and looking for the additional tools that other vendors have right out of the gate. To make it short, you will be behind the power curve for a while.
That isn't to say that Microsoft won't catch up. It's just that for the next year and a half you have to wait and play with Beta, then deal with generation one, catch ups, etc., when there are some proven technologies available today.
If you want to do the Microsoft thing, start now with the current version if you aren't happy with the performance of your servers and that has held you back from implementing your project to date. I am pretty sure that when Viridian comes out it will be better than Microsoft Virtual Server is today, but how much better?
This was first published in July 2007