Jon Honeyball got it wrong.

GAG HALFRUNT: Zis iz most regrettable.
VOGON CAPTAIN: A personal friend?
GAG HALFRUNT: Ah no, in my profession ve never make personal friends.
VOGON CAPTAIN: Ah, ‘professional detachment’!
GAG HALFRUNT: No, ve just don’t ‘ave ze knack.

The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy 

Jon Honeyball, if not actually a friend, is someone we think highly of as I've said before - and he did the keynote for the community EVO launch. All-round top chap. So when I got a mail saying "Jon Honeyball, a journalist with ITPro (UK), inaccurately reported a date slip of Windows Server virtualization, codenamed Viridian, and implied a delay to Windows Server “Longhorn”. Both of these statements are wrong. " I sit up and take notice. I'm not going to provide the link to the article, because it seems Jon has a corrected version in the works.

So what is the true position ?

Q. Longhorn server is going to ship as 32 and 64 bit versions, and virtualization is 64 bit only. SO will the 64bit and 32 bit versions be functionally different, or virtualization be an add on ?
A. The plan is the later. At WinHEC in May 2006 we said that we planned the RTM Windows Server Virtualization "within 180 days" of Longhorn 

Q. When will longhorn and Windows server Virtualization ship. 
A. When they're ready

Q. That's what you always say. But can you give a date for Longhorn?
A. If I knew I wouldn't say (it's someone else's baby; it's for them to announce the due date etc). As it happens I don't know, and it doesn't help anyone to have Microsoft people publishing guesses.  But it bears repeating that we've said we're on track to release beta 3 before the middle of the year, and the goal is to ship longhorn server before the end of the year.

Q. And Virtualization ?
A. It's expected after the server. We're don't know when either will be released, if progress on one is quick and the other is slow the gap gets bigger or smaller.  We haven't changed the view since May '06 - we plan to do it within 180 days. It might be less....

Q. You talk the "before the end of the year", not " '3rd quarter', or 'October' " can I infer from that ....
A. The inference I'd draw is that we're being vague. There is still work to do (obviously), the more complex the work, the easier it is to under-estimate how long it will take.