Mental Ward

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Cutting Off the Competition's Air Supply?

One thought occurred to me as I was writing the last blog about VMware's attempts to restrict competing vendors at VMworld.

VMware CEO is Paul Maritz. Paul Maritz is the former No. 3 at Microsoft, and a key player in the late-90s U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust trial. It was Maritz who allegedly made the famous threat about "cutting off Netscape's air supply." It's important to note that Maritz has denied saying it (an Intel executive during the trial said he heard Maritz make that statement during a meeting), but it played a key role in the case.

VMware's handling of this issue is disconcerting, and certainly has echoes of the "Netscape" sentiment, especially in light of its weak attempt to backtrack on its brazen approach to competing vendors at an "industry" event. I think it would be wise of VMware to completely eliminate that language in the vendor contract, and issue a general "Hey, we fouled up, and it won't happen again" public statement.

Posted by Keith Ward on 06/01/2009 at 12:48 PM


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