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Will VMware Still Exist in Five Years?
VMware deserves a lot of credit. It turned this industry on its head. But will it still exist in 5 years?
By: Brian Madden
Sep. 11, 2008 03:00 PM
Brian Madden's Blog
[Note from the author: This wasn't an article I intended to write right now. But after Alex Barrett blogged about a conversation I had with her last week on this very topic, my inbox has been flooded with emails asking "Did Alex really quote you properly?" and "Are you crazy?" The answers to those two questions are "yes" and "quite possibly."]
So kudos to VMware for doing some awesome stuff.
But VMware will face some tough times ahead:
VMware has awoken the slumbering giant that is Microsoft. Sure, there have been isolated cases of smaller companies successfully competing against Microsoft, or smaller companies partnering with them (e.g. Citrix), but in general, if you're a software vendor and Microsoft puts you in their crosshairs, you days are numbered. Microsoft will add many of VMware's core features into the base OS over the next several years without really increasing the price. And in addition to Microsoft, many other companies are entering the hypervisor space, including Citrix, Novell, Sun, Oracle, and even Phoenix Technologies (the BIOS makers).
Of course VMware has the first-mover advantage in the virtualization market, and conventional business wisdom suggests this can help a company win long-term. But history is full of wildly successful businesses who only entered a market after another "first mover" blazed the trail. Look at Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Starbucks, Microsoft--none of these was the first company in their sapce, and each of them dominates today.
I don't want to minimize the impact that VMware has had on the industry. But I think in five or ten years, VMware will be more significant for what they did in the 2000s, not what they're doing at that time.
I'll write another article tomorrow about what VMware could do to maintain their dominant position. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments today. Here are some points to kick-start the conversation:
VMware is doomed
VMware will continue, no problem
What does VMware need to do to survive?
This post appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permission of the author, who retains full copyright.
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