Microsoft's marketing makes a somewhat confused impression to me. Now, that we are already used to "Windows Server Virtualization (WSV)", they come up with the new product names Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server. Note that WSV was not a code name; this was Viridian. Most interesting in this announcement certainly is the new product Hyper-V Server.

As I've understood from the articles I read today, Hyper-V is what was called WSV before, and Hyper-V Server is quite similar to VMware's ESX Server 3i. It is a stand-alone hypervisor that is independent of a "general-purpose operating system". In the case of Hyper-V Server that means independent of Windows. That's remarkable, since it is probably Microsoft's first business product that is not in one way or another dependent on Windows.

I guess Microsoft was somehow surprised about VMware's move to release a Hypervisor that could be integrated in server hardware. Imagine all servers of major hardware vendors are delivered with VMware's hypervisor. Who, then, needs Microsoft's virtualization products? So, Hyper-V Server obviously is a direct response to VMware ESX Server 3i. That is the only explanation I could think of why Microsoft renamed WSV just before the release of Windows Server 2008.

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It seems that Microsoft wants to stress that their virtualization technology is in no way dependent on Windows. Anyway, I think that the new names will cause endless confusion. "Hyper-V" and "Hyper-V Server" are too similar. I am sure that people will constantly mix them up.

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