The power of a good abstraction really makes itself felt when you're able to deliver a completely new, unanticipated capability with surprisingly little effort.
That's the way it has felt around rPath this past week or two as we added support for the Microsoft VHD format to rBuilder.
Last night, we published the results of this effort to rBuilder Online, allowing our community of software appliance developers to click a few buttons and generate bootable virtual appliance images that run under the Microsoft Virtual Server family of products.
Going one step further, we also enabled support for the Virtual Iron platform, since it uses the MS VHD format as its own native virtual disk format.
Two new virtual targets for very, very little incremental cost to develop and zero incremental cost for appliance developers to consume.
Check out the (growing) list of appliances for MS Virtual Server.