On behalf of the Microsoft Virtual Server Team I would like to express our thanks to you, the reader, and Windows IT Pro for allowing us the opportunity to understand how real-world IT Professionals are using (and benefiting from) virtual machine technology.

Through our initial beta and partner programs for Virtual Server 2005, we have seen some very insightful uses for Virtual Server 2005. For example, one company is using Virtual Server 2005 to create and maintain an Offline Root CA. Another company is using Virtual Server 2005 as a way to test patches on their critical servers before deploying the patch in a production environment.

Customers have told us that they commonly use virtual machines for server consolidation, application re-hosting, and test and development, and we'd love to know how those scenarios are working for you. And, if you have other valuable uses for Virtual Server 2005, we want to hear your ideas!

We are very excited about this opportunity to connect with you about Virtual Server 2005, so please take a moment to share your experiences in this blog - and enter your virtual machine solution in the corresponding contest. You could win a copy of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition or Standard Edition!

Thank you on behalf of the Virtual Server Team,
Ward Ralston
Technical Product Manager
Microsoft Corporation