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VMware vs. Microsoft: The Battle Is Joined

So now we have a horse race. Hyper-V is released and we can begin to see the contours of what will be a new competitive landscape (although there are now, given Diane Greene's departure, many uncertainties about VMware's future to be resolved in the months ahead).

While VMware's success in virtualization will undoubtedly continue, what analysts like to call the "total available market" is still up for grabs with about 10 percent of servers virtualized, the hosted/local desktop segment (including application virtualization) still formative, and storage only in early innings.

So questions abound. Can VMware now under Paul Maritz keep up the momentum and kick-start the kind of strategic market positioning that investors seem to have wanted from Diane Greene? Will her unexpected and possibly mishandled departure create a wave of attrition in senior executive ranks? (Note: Husband and co-founder Mendel Rosenblum still appears to be on the payroll.) And will Maritz, who left Microsoft eight years ago when it was, for all intents and purposes, a different company, be able to parlay his experience there to ready VMware for more competitive battles ahead?

The annals of IT market history are full of examples of early movers who pioneered a market, did the heavy lifting and tackled the missionary marketing only to have a much larger company stroll in at just the right time to not only fully legitimize that market but scarf up a large portion of market share. Will this be VMware's fate if EMC's increased involvement turns out to steer the company in the wrong direction?

What are your thoughts? Weigh in here or fire off an e-mail.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 07/14/2008 at 12:49 PM


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