More software delays in the news, Microsoft has announced that Viridian, their upcoming virtualization suite, will have its beta release delayed. While the final release is supposedly still on schedule, the beta won't be available until the second half of this year. It seems odd a delay in the beta will not offset the release time of the final product, but they are pairing the release of Viridian with the release of Longhorn Server. Viridian already faces fierce competition, with Vmware already holding on to large portions of the market and some of them (such as Xen) being bundled with enterprise operating systems such as RHEL.

Virtualization is expected to play a much larger part in mainstream computing (particularly servers, both small and large business) over the next few years, and already some of the changes have been seen. Both hardware and software is rolling out specifically for these tasks, such as newer CPUs from Intel and AMD. If you're interested in trying out desktop virtualization, there are many free suites available, from Microsoft and other vendors. Microsoft made VirtualPC a free desktop product, no doubt to increase exposure.