released Beta 2 of its Virtual Machine Manager, which is designed to help companies manage their virtualization deployments.
The software, which should be ready by the end of the year, is part of the Microsoft's response to the trend towards virtualization on big corporate networks.
The software also helps manage physical servers and is a core piece of Microsoft's emerging management platform under its Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI).
Beta 2 of the Virtual Machine Manager is available for free on the Microsoft Web site. It integrates with both Operations Manager 2007 - which shipped earlier this month - and Configuration Manager 2007, which should ship in September.
Beta 2 has a different user interface that matches the one in Operations Manager 2007.
It supports physical machine-to-virtual machine conversion for Windows Server 2000 and 2003 and virtual machine-to-virtual machine conversion to turn VMware virtual machines into Microsoft's VHD format. It also supports VMM on 64-bit servers and remote installation.