Hypervisor API available under the Open Specification Promise

Nice little press release snippet:

“Microsoft today announced that it will extend the Open Specification Promise to the hypercall application programmer’s interface (API) within Windows Server virtualization (codename Viridian), and will be available when Windows Server virtualization is released to manufacturing (RTM). In the interim, today Microsoft posted an updated draft of the hypercall API to Microsoft’s website http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/virtualization/default.mspx so that partners can continue to have early access to this important development interface.”

So you may be thinking “Cool, but why do I care?  Why does anyone care?” – and those are good questions.  Leaving aside the boring (to someone like me) discussion of just what it means to release something under the OSP and all the related licensing questions (click on the OSP link above if you want to read about that), let’s talk about why you would want to use the hypercall API.

First – if you are developing software that could utilize a hypervisor, this is for you!  

*cough*  <<insert sound of crickets>>  *cough*

Okay, I get that there aren’t many people out there who would actually do this – but there are such people and this is important to them.  On a side note you do not need to be creating traditional “virtualization” software to utilize the hypervisor.  If you are doing low-level coding and are looking for another way to isolate your code at runtime – go check it out.

Second – if you are writing an operating system, this is for you!


Umm… Okay – not really off to a good start here.  But, for people who are developing operating systems this interface allows them to understand how to extend their OS to take advantage of the services provided by the Windows Server virtualization hypervisor.

Third – if you like reading boring technical specifications, this is for you!


Fine.  Let’s be serious then.  Chances are that you personally do not care much about this announcement, but the really cool thing is that it allows a number of our partners to develop cool technology on top of, and that inter-operates with, the Windows Server virtualization hypervisor.  I personally can’t wait to see what sort of technology is developed here.


Update: Here is a direct link to the currently available draft document: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=91E2E518-C62C-4FF2-8E50-3A37EA4100F5&displaylang=en