VMware’s Virtual Machine Software Takes on Microsoft

September 1, 2009

(ChattahBox)—VMware, a not so well known tech company based in Palo Alto, California, is fast becoming the next great threat to Microsoft, with its sophisticated virtual machine software that allows the operation of multiple operating systems on the same computer.

Headed by former Microsoft executives, the virtual machine firm is about to make a move from its current dominance in data centers into the desktop and notebook market, forcing Microsoft to take notice.

VMware is not as flashy or as sexy as Google, Microsoft’s number one competitor, but its virtualization technology may revolutionize how we run our computers. If you haven’t heard of virtual machines by now, you soon will, because Microsoft is recognizing the threat and now offers free virtual machine software, called HyperV in its Windows Server 2008.

Microsoft plans to update HyperV by October of this year to keep up with VMware’s superior technology.

Paul Maritz, a former senior executive at Microsoft, is now chief executive of VMware, with Tod Nielsen, another former Microsoft executive, serving as chief operating officer. Mr. Maritz was intrigued with VMware’s potential for innovation with its virtualization technology. “It’s a rare opportunity to be part of a paradigm shift,” said Martiz. “That’s what attracted me,” he added.

And VMware recently upped the stakes with its plans to acquire SpringSource, a maker of open-source software development tools, which allows VMware’s technology to undercut the need for an operating system. “It makes us far less dependent on the operating system to manage the applications,” Nielsen said.

VMware has the benefit of an untapped corporate market, eager to cut costs and save space by the virtualization of its servers. Although VM ware controls nearly 80 percent of virtualized computing, that only accounts for about 15 percent of all servers. Companies using virtual machine software are expected to double within the next five years.

As Microsoft’s free HyperV virtual machine software becomes more advanced, analysts see Microsoft gaining on VMware’s dominance in the virtualization market.

However, VMware is poised to do battle. Nielsen said, “This is going to be a battle for sure, but we are going to stay focused and continue to outrun them.” Watch out Microsoft, VMware has you in its sights.



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