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With the release to manufacturing of Hyper-V, Microsoft is hoping that Windows Server 2008 users will see the product as the de facto virtualization product for the enterprise. What’s more, Microsoft is looking to use Hyper-V as a catalyst for the expanded adoption of Windows Server 2008. While those accomplishments may be lofty goals, one thing is certain: Microsoft does have the wherewithal to make it happen.

Hyper-V is a late arrival to the party and is taking a different approach to garner recognition. First off, Hyper-V, for all intents and purposes, is a free virtualization solution; it is included with several editions of Windows Server 2008 and is deployed using WS08’s roles wizard. That bundling, ease of installation and initial “no cost” ideology will make Hyper-V a hard technology to ignore. What’s more, those looking to bring virtualization into their enterprises will be forced to take a long hard look at an upgrade path that includes Windows Server 2008.

That creates an interesting question. Was Hyper-V created to enhance Microsoft’s marketing abilities or to bring advanced technology to the enterprise? Either way, adopters will have to make significant investments in hardware and software to bring Hyper-V’s capabilities to fruition.