But how long will we see virtualization software that's stand-alone? This is a technology perfectly suited for embedding in operating systems themselves, and indeed that's the approach that's been taken in adding the Xen virtualization engine to the newest Linux kernel -- Xen should be ready for inclusion by the end of the summer at latest. Will Microsoft look to eventually make Windows Virtual Server a tied-in part of Longhorn? Well, yes, actually. So now it depends on how well Redmond's engineers execute the ability to run Linux and other OS images on Windows servers. In essence, the question is whether Microsoft can overcome its Windows-centricity, some disdain for other operating systems, and an outright antipathy to open source and come up with virtualization technology that works well enough with those operating systems to convince people not to employ software from the likes of SWsoft. Prediction Man wouldn't bet the 200-acre spread known as the Down The Road Farm on that happening, which leaves the SWsofts of the world in good shape.