I was reading a very interesting article located at NTPRO.NIL about this feature being available it appears in vSphere 4 via Powershell. Now this feature is used in the VMware View product..but kinda neat we can play around with it now for workload not VDI related.
Linked clones, as it states, use the base disk for an OS, makes a snapshot, and then other virtual machines are based off just the snapshot data, which of course saves disk space, gives you one place to do updates, etc. Now I would not use this in production right now..but definitely something to look at.
See a VMware article this feature.
Highly suggest getting the NTPRO.NL PowerPack for Virtualization EcoShell to make this easier.