In my insight Microsoft, the big absentee of virtualization I evaluated several scenario related to annonced Windows Vista delay.
One of them contemplated the chance of massive delay of Windows codename Longhorn Server and subsequently the expected Windows Hypervisor (codename Viridian), leaving Microsoft customers with no new virtualization technologies for another 2-3 years.
Now ZDNet reports the expected Service Pack 1 for Virtual Server 2005 R2 is officially shifted to 2007.
This almost confirm the above scenario.
Microsoft was expected to introduce within this Service Pack support for AMD/Intel virtualization extensions and virtual machines hot backup, but I would expect a features re-plan, to fill the technological gap that will exist with VMware products.
I would also expect a name change, maybe introducing the brand new concept of Released 3 (R3).
Meanwhile, trying to limit damage, Microsoft is expected to release actual Virtual Server 2005 R2 for free next week.