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Will Microsoft Layoffs Affect Virtualization?

So, Microsoft has finally done it -- announced layoffs. I can't ever remember Redmond actually laying off employees for economic reasons (although I'm more than willing to be corrected on this point.) It just goes to show how serious this recession is shaping up to be.

It's not like it's a huge percentage of the workforce; 5,000 total out of 90,000-plus is less than sweeping. But it is an indicator of two things: a) That Microsoft's sales are plunging, and b) That Microsoft expects this trend to continue into at least the immediate future -- meaning, probably, the rest of this year and maybe beyond.

How will this affect its virtualization efforts? My guess is not at all. Microsoft knows that virtualization may be one of its best bets in the recession, since it's a money-saving technology. Note also that the server and tools business showed healthy growth, in contrast to nearly every other division. I take that as meaning, at least in part, that Windows Server 2008 is doing well in the market. And of course, Hyper-V is a key feature -- maybe the key feature -- of Windows 2008.

That's why we're seeing such rapid progress on Windows 2008 R2, already out in beta. It includes, naturally, the R2 beta of Hyper-V; Hyper-V Server is on the same path. I wouldn't expect any of Microsoft's virtualization initiatives, including Virtual Machine Manager and its various desktop virtualization plays, to be affected one iota because of today's news. In fact, if you're a Microsoft developer, it might be worth your while to get attached to a virtualization project.

Posted by Keith Ward on 01/22/2009 at 12:48 PM


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