Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

Summary: Microsoft is running an ad in USA Today, in the form of an open letter to VMware customers, asking them to talk to Microsoft before signing a contract that might lock them in to a less-than-complete cloud solution from Redmond's foremost virtualization rival.

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Microsoft is running an ad in USA Today, in the form of an open letter to VMware customers, asking them to talk to Microsoft before signing a contract that might lock them in to a less-than-complete cloud solution from Redmond's foremost virtualization rival.

The ad/letter, which debuted on August 31 -- the first official day of VMworld 2010 -- echoes the sentiments Softies have been airing in recent blog posts on TechNet: That cloud computing is not synonymous with virtualization and should provide a lot more. Virtualization is "only a stepping stone toward cloud computing," Microsoft officials are contending. (My ZDNet blogging colleague Dan Kutsnetsky voiced the same argument in a recent blog post.)

"VMware is asking many of you to sign 3-year license agreements for your virtualization projects. But with the arrival of cloud computing, signing up for a 3-year virtualization commitment may lock you into a vendor that cannot provide you with the breadth of technology, flexibility or scale that you’ll need to build a complete cloud computing environment," said the letter, signed by Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President with Microsoft's Server & Tools Business.

"If you’re evaluating a new licensing agreement with VMware, talk to us first. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain," the letter continued.

Microsoft is exhibiting at VMworld this week in San Francisco, although it won't be showcasing its Hyper-V virtualization technology there. (Network World reported that Microsoft is refraining from talking up Hyper-V because its officials "believe(s) the conference's sponsor and exhibitor agreement prevents vendors from demonstrating products that compete against VMware.")  Instead, Microsoft execs will be highlighting Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud-computing operating system, at the event. Virtualization is built into the Windows Azure core.

Microsoft's message at the VMworld event will be that server consolidation equals virtualization, but server elimination equals the cloud, quipped David Greschler, Director of Virtualization Strategy for Microsoft and the founder of Softricity, a virtualization vendor that Microsoft acquired in 2006.

"VMware is really talking about virtualization when it talks about the cloud," Greschler claimed.

Greschler said there are a number of differences between Microsoft's and VMware's approaches toward the cloud. He mentioned the differences in how the two companies are pursuing the goal of delivering a consolidated cloud management console. Greschler said while VMware is promising one view between the datacenter and the service provider, Microsoft is going a step beyond that with its Operations Manager management-pack plug-in, due out before the end of this calendar year, which will provide users with a view of their datacenter, hoster, and private Azure cloud all from the same server.

VMware is making a number of cloud-specific announcements at its conference today, including the unveiling of VMware vCloud Director (its integrated management solution for hybrid clouds); VMware vCloud Datacenter Services; and VMware Shield, a security offering for enterprise-cloud customers.

I think it's interesting Microsoft chose to focus on potential lock-ins with its VMworld ad, given how often the Redmondians are chastised for attempting to lock in customers by creating dependencies on .Net and SharePoint. What's your take? Is VMworld any more open than Microsoft when it comes to the cloud and virtualization?

Topics: Storage, CXO, Cloud, Hardware, Microsoft, Virtualization, VMware

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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30 comments
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  • nobody believes M$ anyway

    so the ad is just wasted money.
    Linux Geek
    • You'd be surprised

      @Linux Geek

      You'd be surprised. People do in fact listen to Microsoft. Just because you think a certain way doesn't mean everybody does.
      CobraA1
      • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

        @CobraA1 What better solution does MS offer? <br>Virutalization built on the unreliable and insecure Windows Kernel?

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        atrok
  • Running Scared. Tie/Lock is more with MS

    It's always the case with MS. Come in with low prices (but huge TCO), tie you to MS software exclusively, and make getting out near impossible,

    Yeah, I'll talk to MS. Tell them to go pound sand.

    MS = the masters of Lock-In!!!!
    itguy08
    • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

      @itguy08 <br><br>Exactly. Let's see... Windows OS site licences to start with, then you want to add Sharepoint but then that only works properly if everyone has the latest version of Office, which you can only take advantage of all the features if you go with Exchange for your mail server... ad infinitum.<br><br>Pretty ironic to see M$ whining about lock-in from other vendors. <br><br>Meanwhile the Vmware virtual machine has become the de facto industry standard that other vendors are trying to make their own virtualization wares fully compatible with (plus hardware support for ESX) and which they are falling over themselves to give away for free (see Sun/Oracle's Virtual Box).
      putty.master
      • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

        @putty.master


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        I bet Kinect will<a href="http://www.gopsohbet.net" title="cinsel sohbet" target="_blank">cinsel sohbet</a> not be magical either.
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        exibir
    • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

      itguy08 = the master of ABM trollery!!!!
      Hallowed are the Ori
  • VMWare totally doesnt get the cloud, MS does

    and MS has what youu need from virtualization too. For free. Sorry VM but you failed to make the most of your head start. MS now has the better solution...
    Johnny Vegas
    • Huh?

      @Johnny Vegas
      What better solution does MS offer?
      Virutalization built on the unreliable and insecure Windows Kernel?

      Vitrualization from a company that has a stake in ensuring only their OS's run best on their virtualization platform?

      The HIGHEST TCO for Server OS's?

      Strict licensing model that ties you to their software forever?

      Sorry, there are many reasons to stay far, far away from a Microsoft virtualization approach.....
      itguy08
      • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

        @itguy08 you don't sound you know what you talking about. Do you?
        jk_10
    • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

      @Johnny Vegas

      MS missed that boat which left the dock about four years ago.
      putty.master
  • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

    " Come in with low prices (but huge TCO), tie you to MS software exclusively, and make getting out near impossible,"

    Thats funny,

    What does FOSS do that is what you would consider different ?

    Come in with low prices and high TCO ?

    And news flash, if you pick a specific vendor for your services you are LOCKED-IN. That applies to anyone, If you agree to use a companies products or services for the duration of your agreement you are locked in.

    If I buy a honda car, am I locked-in to honda's ? well yes I am until I decide I want something else.

    Get over it, What would you rather, A single vendor ? so there is no consumer choice ? and no vendor competition ?

    Yea, that would be good (but only for that single vendor), so now various companies are offering alternatives and CHOICE for consumers, and you whine about it.

    If companies do not offer that choice, you go after the companies that do provide that product or service and call them a monopoly.

    Which ofcourse it totally wrong, as you well know, even MS is not a monopoly, you can start up your own company and compete with them in the market. Many do, some even successfully.

    But if you have ONLY ONE VENDOR, there is NO consumer choice, it is a monopoly. So decide what you want, choice ? or no choice.

    No one will force you to use MS's products, and there are alternatives for you to choose from.. Isn't it a great world. :)

    Thankfully people ignore trolls like "linux geek", except as an indication of the rabid fanboy, zealot type you inspire with your 'cause'.

    Linux geek if you could develop code and write applications half as good as you can troll ZD then you might one day actually improve its standing instead of making Linux types look like crazies !!.. Just an idea.. up to you..
    Aussie_Troll
  • MS calling the kettle black

    Microsoft is trying to put out FUD of VMWare because they are scared of losing more market share. VMWare is a very innovative company, and their products are top of the line. Microsoft missed the virtualization boat, and they are finding every way to scramble and make up market share somehow. VMWare is excellent stuff, I wouldn't switch.

    Also, Microsoft practices vendor lock-in with all of their products, so I think they have no room to talk.
    Chris_Clay
    • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

      @apexwm

      Explain how Microsoft locks you into anything? If you purchase Windows you can run thousands of different applications accross hundreds of different hardware configuraitons, plus you can build your own machines.

      VMWare may be leading in the virtualization space, but this race has barely started, and the reason why VMWare is so epxensive is becuase they don't have any competition, until now!
      omdguy
    • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

      @apexwm WTF? what's Microsoft really gaining from this stupid deal other than having Comscore reporting a bigger marketshare for Bing? Most people won't ever notice the ultra tiny Bing at the very bottom of the search results. This pact makes no sense at all: economically, logically, or otherwise. Yahoo! sucks more than ever and I have no idea MS is doing with this. Steve Ballmer is making too many mistakes <a href="http://www.arabaoyunlarimiz.gen.tr/ciftlik-oyunlari/"><b>ciftlik oyunlari</b></a>
      Arabalar
  • Just like Windows is the standard on the business desktop...

    VMWare is the standard for enterprise virtualization. And like Windows on the business desktop, there isn't a close second. This is a ship that has sailed. Bon voyage.
    jasonp@...
  • Where's Citrix in all of this?

    Will tomorrow's USA Today have a Citrix ad that says, "What he said"?
    paulgauzens
  • "A plague on both your houses"

    Why trust Microsoft or VMWare when you can download and deploy VirtualBox for free?

    This suffers no vendor-lockin, is available as an open source version if you want the source code and is generally very, very good indeed

    Best wishes, G.
    mrgoose
    • RE: Microsoft launches VMware lock-in ad to kick off VMworld

      @mrgoose<br><br>Ok... I'll bite... So Im a shareholder in a public company, for sake of argument. Virtualization is promised to save all kinds of money on operating expense. It presents risks though. And it's complicated. If something fails, widgets aren't made and sold and my value goes down.<br><br>So i want to know... Who is "virtual box"? Who supports their "free" product? Whose throat do i choke when it fails? How expensive is it to implement and how expensive is the skillset to run it? Is there a cloud roadmap for it and a large well funded organization working to evolve it?<br><br>These are the questions a sane business asks. Technology is an enabler and a means to an end. It isn't here so IT geeks can have fun on someone elses dime. This is what tech zealots can't fathom. Nothing is "free"... It's about risk assessment, ROI, and cost allocation. The best solution is the one that has the right mix of capabilities and the right value prop, not the one that advances some BS ideological cause.<br><br>For an iT blog, its amazing how few REAL IT folks seem to post! So many here must either br young crusaders, or unemployed, or students, or the types that are still stuck inn a dead end on the verge of being off shored while cursing at the "powers that be" for being "clueless" while just never getting a clue themselves.<br><br>All of that said, the ad is a bit cheeky... Basically it's "hey! Sign our ELA, not theirs!". Smart, experienced, IT shops are already weighing both offerings and have been for a while.
      mlambert890@...
      • I'm not sure I understand the question, but here goes...

        @mlambert890@... <br>VirtualBox was originally created by a German software company called Innotek GmbH. It was purchased by Sun Microsystems, and is now developed by Oracle Corporation. Large chunks of it are subject to the General Public License and therefore remain open source.<br><br>More info:-<br>http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/VirtualBox</a><br><br>Free download under PUEL (private use and evaluation license) for Windows, Mac OSx, Solaris and most Linuxes:-<br>http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads<br><br>If you run one of the debian-based distros (e.g. Ubuntu, Mint etc.) and you're happy using the scaled-down, GPL'd, free, open source version, then you can install it directly from your distro's repository by typing the following in a terminal and hitting the return key:-<br><b>sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ose</b><br><br>FWIW according to DesktopLinux, VirtualBox is the third most popular way of running Windows apps on Linux. We have been running it, trouble-free and cost-free, for three years:- <br>http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=144&Itemid=58<br><br>WRT "<i>whose throat do you choke when it fails?</i>"<br>1. Whose throat do you choke when a Microsoft product fails? lol!<br>2. In all the time we have used it, it hasn't actually failed!<br>3. I understand Oracle will licence and support the full-blown product on a commercial basis too - but I'm far too tight-fisted to entertain that! The free GPL version is quite good enough for us!<br><br>Here's a screengrab of VirtualBox running on one of my Ubuntu-based systems - note how many Windows versions are running simultaneously! <br>http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine/albums/archive/project/screengrab/20090115-win7-all-vms.png<br><br>Give it a go. I think you'll be impressed.<br><br>Best wishes, G.<br><br><i>PS. I have no financial or technical interest in any of the companies or organisations involved. In fact I have no sense of brand-loyalty whatsoever. I just hate wasting hard-earned cash on expensive proprietary products when my little business can do just as well - sometimes better - for free!</i>
        mrgoose