Microsoft's historic embrace of Linux technology could have wide-reaching impacts on the virtualization market and Microsoft's rival VMware. By allowing greater ability to run Linux on the Hyper-V virtualization platform, Microsoft is making a compelling case that it could be the virtualization vendor of choice for consolidation of Windows and Linux applications, says Gartner analyst George Weiss. Microsoft still lags behind VMware in enterprise features such as live migration. But once Microsoft proves itself "good enough" in terms of functionality, many customers will be intrigued by Hyper-V as a lower-cost alternative to VMware, Weiss says.

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