VMware answers Microsoft on open formats for virtual disks

The change in Virtual Hard Disk (.VHD) format licensing Microsoft announced last week couldn’t stay unaddressed by market leader VMware.

In the corporate blog Dan Chu, Senior Director Developer and ISV Products and Technology Alliances at VMware, underlined:

Last week Microsoft announced that it too is moving to make its virtual machine disk format, VHD, more open. Previously VHD had been covered by a much more restrictive license. We are glad that Microsoft is making VHD more freely usable by third parties. The ecosystem has invested broadly in VMDK, but it is good that VHD now has the same accessibility.

One highly related area we are concerned about is that we?ve seen Microsoft beginning to put restrictive terms on the use of published VHDs. Specifically, it seems that Microsoft is starting to restrict use of their VHDs to MS Virtual Server and Virtual PC only.

If Microsoft constrains software licensing of the content within VHDs so that the VHDs can only be run on Microsoft products, then there won?t be any real openness or interoperability for VHDs. We hope that Microsoft is committed to interoperability and open implementations for VHDs, and that the chokepoint isn?t simply moving from one prohibitive licensing constraint (VHD format licensing) to another (VHD software licensing)…

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