Microsoft is making clear its motives for a big move in the virtualization space with the announcement of an acquisition and the Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.

An excerpt from Associated Press:

To help move the virtual desktop scenario forward, Microsoft said Monday it plans to acquire Calista Technologies Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based startup founded in 2006. Calista’s technology makes logging on to a virtual desktop feel more like working on a physical Windows computer, Microsoft said. No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.

Microsoft is set to launch the next generation of its server operating system, Windows Server 2008, in February, but a key piece of software that enables virtualization, Hyper-V, won’t be available until six months later. Once all the pieces fall into place, however, Microsoft says its line of server and desktop virtualization technology and the programs IT workers need to manage their mix of virtual and physical machines will push many more to adopt the trend.

VMware has the first mover advantage, but the Redmond giant has some compelling features, such as the ability to switch among running servers.

Microsoft has also made acquisitions relating to virtualization technology in the past, not to mention that the licensing fees for use of Windows on virtual machines has been slashed from $78 to $23.

Do you think Microsoft will significantly dent VMware’s business this year?

More information:

Microsoft takes on VMware (VNUnet)

Microsoft unveils ‘Dynamic’ virtualization roadmap (ITWorldCanada)