VMware doesn't like Windows

A friend recently asked me if I really wanted VMware, a company with a former Microsoft guy in charge, VMware, to buy Novell? His unspoken message was "Wouldn't that be horrible for Novell's Linux?"

Bless his heart, clearly he hasn't been paying attention to the relationship between VMware and Microsoft. VMware, a semi-independent fiefdom of EMC, has no love for Windows at all.

Two years ago, a VMware executive said that in ten more years, Windows would be history. Okay, you say, that was some guy in charge of Australia and New Zealand. It's not like he's even in VMware's top ten executive list.

True, but according to my friend Paula Rooney, today at VMworld, Paul Maritz, VMware's CEO, virtually proclaimed the death of Windows in his keynote speech. Now, Maritz — he speaks for the company.

To be exact, Maritz sees the operating system as simply a legacy software layer. As reported by Rooney, Maritz said, "Hardware is going to virtualization and the role of abstracted services to applications is going to new frameworks. The traditional operating system won't disappear ... but is one component that needs to fit into this world." Oh, and by the way, that old client-server model we've been using for the last twenty, thirty years? It's heading for the trash, too.

I think it's going to take longer than Maritz says before operating systems become just one more layer in a virtualization and cloud cake. But for him to push Windows into the garbage can like this ... well let's just say that I don't think Steve Ballmer would be amused.

In fact, we know Ballmer isn't happy with VMware. On the very day that Maritz was throwing dirt on Windows' grave, Microsoft had taken out a full page ad in the USA Today urging people to not sign long-term contracts with VMware. This is rich: Microsoft — yes, Microsoft! — warning companies of the dangers of being tied into long-term enterprise license agreements.

As I told my friend, and I'm telling you, there's no love lost between Microsoft and VMware. Oh, and VMware could still use Linux as a layer in its virtualization and cloud wedding cake.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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