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Microsoft's Tardy Virtual Server Begins Testing

Microsoft formally rolled out the first major beta of its Virtual Server 2004 this week and has delayed shipment until the middle of the year at the earliest.

The software company released beta versions of the virtualization software to roughly 30 customers this week and will release the code to manufacturing sometime in mid-2004, says Eric Berg, a group product manager for Windows server.

When Microsoft acquired the virtualization software assets of Connectix in early 2003, it said it would ship a server product by the end of that year. In the fall, partners working with the code said Microsoft planned to make the beta available in November and ship the product in the first quarter of 2004. One Microsoft product life-cycle Web site last quarter identified late March as the expected shipping date for the product.

This week, one Microsoft solution provider said Microsoft is working out some problems before releasing code. "Virtual Server is delayed," the East Coast partner says. "I'm not sure how long, but I'm told they had performance issues."

Microsoft's Berg declined to acknowledge a delay in the product or the possibility that the shipment of Virtual Server 2004 to the channel might slip until the third quarter of this year. Shipment of product following release to manufacturing typically lags several weeks.

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