In a move reminiscent of its "Get the Facts" anti-Linux campaign, Microsoft is waging war on VMware with a customer-focused Web site that provides the Redmondian spin on how its products stack up against the competition.
The Burton Group Data Center Strategies blog highlighted Microsoft's new virtualization site, with the URL "VMwareCostsWayTooMuch.com," in a post on Friday. Burton Research Director Drue Reeves noted that Microsoft representatives were handing out cards with the URL outside VMware's user conference in Las Vegas last week until they were asked to leave the premises. Reeves called Microsoft's strategy "childish." He also questioned Microsoft's core contention that VMware is more expensive than its comparable offerings. From his post:
"It's a bit disingenuous of Microsoft to say VMware is 'way too expensive' when Windows Server comes with what Chris Wolf terms as "a Virtualization Tax". Chris states that 'If you're virtualizing a Windows server OS today, MS licensing restrictions will force you to buy Windows 2008 data center edition, which as you know includes Hyper-V. To say VMware costs more is disingenuous.' I agree. In order to get true VM mobility with Hyper-V data center edition is required. All the other editions either restrict mobility or restrict the number of VMs(virtual machines)."
The new anti-VMware site reminds me a lot of Microsoft's original "GettheFacts" site and campaign -- which the company has since replaced with a slightly toned down "/Compare" one. Both of these were designed to persuade customers that Linux was not as inexpensive and robust as they had been led to believe. As with GettheFacts, the anti-VMware site features case studies prominently. So far -- unlike it did with GettheFacts -- Microsoft doesn't seem to be touting any Microsoft-sponsored studies by third-party analysts on the VMware-attack site.
These days, Microsoft's public messaging regarding Linux and open source has switched from "beat 'em" to "work with them." Microsoft officials say their goal is to help users who want and need interoperability between Windows and Linux. I wonder when/if Microsoft will move past attack mode with VMware and start talking customer-requested interoperability in the virtualization space....
Meanwhile, speaking of Windows Server and virtualization, Microsoft officially launched Windows HPC Server 2008 on September 22. Bill Laing, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Windows Server and Solutions Division, with whom I chatted at the New York launch today, reiterated that Microsoft has seen a 250,000 downloads of its Hyper-V hypervisor since it was released to manufacturing in June.
Microsoft is expected to make the Hyper-V bits part of the core Windows Server 2008 product via Service Pack (SP) 2. Laing declined to talk about timing for Windows Server 2008 SP2. He also refused to discuss anything regarding Windows 7 Server, a k a Windows Server 2008 R2, other than to emphasize that it will be a "minor" release, not a major one.