No matter what Microsoft wants you to believe, the truth is that they are not taken seriously in the virtualization market. With VMWare owning a crushing 86%, they face an uphill battle in getting people to try out out their solution. In an attempt to appease some and make it easier to acquire, they are now backtracking on earlier statements and will be offering their virtualization package as a standalone product.
Originally it was going to be offered only as a component of Windows Server in various flavors. Now, it'll be available as a module for these servers for a mere $28. On top of that, the hypervisor itself will be available on its own for the same fee.
Microsoft's latest ploy to get into virtualization is pretty much the same we've been seeing for years but particularly aggressively for the past few. They are reaching their numerous arms into social networking, media players, virtualization and much much more. Could they perhaps be stretching themselves too thin? VMWare will not likely take this lying down.