WinInfo Daily UPDATE, February 19, 2004

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In the News
- Microsoft Releases Virtual Server Beta as Final Release Date Slips
- Microsoft Updates Code-Leak Statement, Mainsoft Fingered

==== In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Releases Virtual Server Beta as Final Release Date Slips
Yesterday, Microsoft announced the private beta release of Microsoft Virtual Server 2004 and said that the final product--originally expected in late 2003--will now ship in mid-2004. Virtual Server is the server-side companion to Microsoft Virtual PC 2004; both products virtualize PC hardware systems into software-based virtual machine (VM) environments that can be aggregated and centrally managed on single systems. Microsoft purchased the technology behind Virtual PC and Virtual Server last year from Connectix, and those products compete with similar VM solutions from VMware.
"We're on track to have product out in the middle of 2004," Windows Server Group Technical Product Manager Eric Berg said. Since acquiring the Connectix technologies, Microsoft has changed the emphasis of Virtual PC and Virtual Server to consolidation: The company hopes to see enterprises with many small Windows NT 4.0-based servers move those environments to VMs running on more powerful Windows Server 2003 boxes. The company has also dramatically bolstered the security of both products, according to a Microsoft representative I spoke with recently. Although Connectix never shipped a Virtual Server product (the software was under development when Microsoft bought the company's virtualization technologies), Microsoft has altered the product in other ways since bringing it inhouse. Virtual Server will run only on Windows 2003 and will officially support VMs running Windows 2003, Windows 2000 Server, NT Server 4.0, and OS/2; although you can run Linux under the Virtual Server environment, that OS is no longer officially supported.

Microsoft Updates Code-Leak Statement, Mainsoft Fingered
Microsoft updated its official statement yesterday regarding the partially leaked source code for Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0, noting that the company is investigating reports about an exploit of the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) version that originally shipped with Win2K. Separately, Microsoft acknowledged that the leak came from Israeli developer Mainsoft, which has had access to the Windows source code for years. Microsoft hired Mainsoft 4 years ago to investigate porting key applications such as IE and Microsoft Office to Linux.
"Investigation has shown \[that the source code leak\] was not the result of any breach of Microsoft's corporate network or internal security, nor is it related to Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative or its Government Security Program, which enable our customers and partners, as well as governments, to legally access Microsoft source code," the Microsoft statement says. "Microsoft continues to work closely with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation \[FBI\] and other law enforcement authorities on this matter. Microsoft source code is both copyrighted and protected as a trade secret. As such, it is illegal to post it, make it available to others, download it, or use it. Microsoft will take all appropriate legal actions to protect its intellectual property. These actions include communicating both directly and indirectly with those who possess or seek to possess, post, download, or share the illegally disclosed source code."
According to reports, the Win2K and NT source-code leak originated with a PC used by Mainsoft Director of Technology Eyal Alaluf, who's refusing contact with the media. Alaluf works at Mainsoft's Israel-based R&D center, the group that worked on the aforementioned Linux ports of Microsoft software. Officially, Mainsoft says only that it's cooperating fully with Microsoft and the FBI, which is running the investigation.

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