VMware to Give Away Server Software

VMware, a company that specializes in products that allow users to run more than one operating system on their machines, is expected to announce next week that it will give away its GSX Server software for free. The company also offers ESX Server, however that will remain a for-pay product.

Users were previously able to purchase GSX Server for $1,400 USD for dual-processor and $2,800 USD for multi-processor machines. VMware ESX is more expensive based on the user's need, and can performed more advanced functions.

For example, GSX Server requires it be run under another operating system, such as Windows. However, the ESX Server can function on its own without an OS.

While some may question the company's move, VMware would likely benefit bringin in more users. Free access to the company's basic program would make it an attractive option for those looking for virtualization, and would likely put it at the forefront of an increasingly competitive market.

Virtualization software will become part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server in an upcoming version of those products. Microsoft is also planning to add the technology to Longhorn Server as well.

Additionally, VMware could benefit from users wishing to upgrade to the more powerful ESX Server after trying out the free version of the GSX software.

CNET News.com first reported details of VMware's plans on Friday.

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