In his keynote at WinHEC today Bill Gates highlighted new updates on the MS virtualization road map.  Windows Server virtualization – hypervisor-based technology that will be integrated into Windows Server “Longhorn” – will be delivered sooner than many have speculated:  180 days after RTM of the server product (which is targeted for 2007.)  He also discussed System Center Virtual Machine Manager, a new tool to manage the virtual data center. That product will RTM in 2007, as well, and there will be a beta within 90 days. Server and Tools SVP Bob Muglia will demonstrate System Center Virtual Machine Manager in his keynote today.  He’ll discuss the company’s acquisition of Softricity, too, which brings application virtualization to the MS virtualization solution line-up, giving customers another way to reduce overall cost of Windows desktops.

There’s a more detailed overview of the virtualization news here and CNET reported the story well.

Update:  Windows Virtualization product unit manager Mike Neil blogs about the WinHEC demo on his team’s blog.