In recent months, we have seen the Microsoft Virtualization team release some pretty amazing statistics about Hyper-V downloads. First, at MMS 2009 David Greshler claimed one million Hyper-V RTM downloads. More recently– and it’s really unclear why these stats differ so greatly — Jeff Woolsey has been throwing around 750,000+ as the number of downloads whenever he has a chance.
If you need a quick refresher on what they mean by downloads, please review The Milion Hypervisor March article. In a nutshell, Microsoft Virtualization decided to get creative with the metric they use to track Hyper-V adoption. Windows Server 2008 RTM shipped with a beta version of Hyper-V (interesting decision) that is automatically updated via the Windows Update patch management mechanism. Any up-to-date Windows 2008 system is essentially counted as a Hyper-V host, which is totally unrealistic and, frankly, dishonest.
That decision now leads to an unfortunate dilemma. Windows Server 2008 SP2 is now available and it includes the RTM version of Hyper-V — no longer any need to download and update Hyper-V. That means:
As new Windows Server 2008 deployments move from RTM to SP2, the Hyper-V downloads cease.
The moral of this story is clear. When selecting a metric to brag publicly about progress, make sure it’s legitimate — or the truth may bring unintended consequences.