Microsoft Introduces Virtualization Licensing Plan for Vista

Microsoft on Wednesday at its Velocity 2006 partner conference in Boston debuted a desktop virtualization licensing plan for Windows Vista Enterprise in hopes of generating more interest in its Software Assurance program.

Under the new plan users buying Vista through Software Assurance can now run up to four copies of Windows in virtual machines on a single device for a single user. The move should encourage users working with older versions of Windows to migrate more quickly to Vista because both are available through the Software Assurance program.

In a move to spur user adoption of server-based virtualization, Microsoft also announced it is making its Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition available through volume licensing. Until now the product was only available through larger hardware manufacturers. Earlier Microsoft had announced that users could run an unlimited number of virtualized Windows Server operating systems on Datacenter starting Oct. 1.

What this means is users can now consolidate a number of different Windows Server workloads and not have to pay for virtual machines or other server licenses.

The company also announced that its latest desktop virtualization product, Virtual PC 2004 SP1, will now be free for all users, as will its upcoming Virtual PC 2007 for Windows Vista. Virtual PC 2007 is expected to ship in next year's first quarter, said Michael Oldham, General Manager in charge of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.


  • Microsoft, Google and IBM Among First Members of Open Source Security Group

    Microsoft has joined a high-powered group of tech giants in a new industry foundation aimed at improving the security of open source software.

  • Microsoft In Talks To Acquire TikTok

    A deal between Microsoft and Beijing-based ByteDance is in the works that would have Microsoft acquiring some of ByteDance's holdings in the TikTok social media service.

  • Some Cortana Features Ending as Part of Microsoft 365 Shift

    Microsoft may be promoting Cortana more as a Microsoft 365 business perk, but the digital assistant will soon see several of its capabilities falling out of support.

  • 2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss. (Now updated with COVID-19-related event changes.)

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.