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Virtual Server 2005 R2 Ready For Download

Microsoft has posted a free trial of Virtual Server 2005 R2, the latest version of the Redmond, Wash.-based developer's virtual machine software that went to manufacturing in mid-November.

Virtual Server 2005 R2, or "Release 2" in Microsoft's nomenclature, sports improved performance, support for failover in case of hardware failure, clustering of virtual machines on a single host or multiple hosts, and formal support for Linux. There is also a version built for 64-bit Windows; Virtual Server only ran on 32-bit Windows Server.

The earlier Virtual Server did handle Linux, but R2 marks the first time that Microsoft's formally extended support to the operating system in the virtual machine software.

A 180-day trial version of Virtual Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition can be downloaded from Microsoft's Download Center in either 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

Microsoft acquired its virtual machine technology from Connectix in early 2003, and released its first product, Virtual PC 2004, in November of that year.

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