In a surprise move, Microsoft has said that it will support customers who chose to run Linux with Microsoft's Virtual Server 2005 R2. Virtual Server 2005 is an application that allows users to run multiple operating systems on one machine at once, using a technology called virtualisation. This technology "makes it easier for corporations to consolidate many applications on a single hardware server and provides a level of reliability." Microsoft has said that it has worked on Virtual Server 2005 so that it simplifies the installation of Linux distributions such as Red Hat and Novell SuSE.

"We've made a long-term commitment to make sure that non-Windows operating systems can be run in a supported manner, both on top of Virtual Server and our future virtualization products," said Zane Adam, director of Windows Server product marketing, in a statement.