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VMware chief laughs off Microsoft jabs

A confident VMware chief executive Paul Maritz today laughed off attempts by Microsoft staff to conduct a guerrilla marketing campaign at VMware's annual worldwide conference in Las Vegas.

A confident VMware chief executive Paul Maritz today laughed off attempts by Microsoft staff to conduct a guerrilla marketing campaign at VMware's annual worldwide conference in Las Vegas.

(Credit: CNET News.com)

Microsoft, which last week announced the forthcoming release of Hyper-V, a direct challenge to VMware's dominance in software virtualisation, employed spruikers to hand out one dollar poker chips to VMworld attendees as they arrived on day one of the conference.

On the poker chips was written: "Looking for your best bet? You won't find it with VMware", and a Web address pointing to comparisons of Microsoft's Hyper-V with VMware's flagship ESX product at www.vmwarecostswaytoomuch.com.

Maritz, who claims to be an old hand at such marketing efforts himself, said he was flattered by Microsoft's efforts. Guerilla marketing campaigns, he said, was "what the follower does, not what the leader does".

"You do that when you're a distant second trying to get attention," he said. "It's an indirect form of flattery to us: the fact the great and mighty Microsoft is forced to come down here and dish out chochkas [a Yiddish term for cheap souvenirs] to our customers as they come in."

"When Microsoft says software costs too much, I don't give a ..." said Maritz, pausing. "Well, I make no comment."

Brett Winterford travelled to VMworld as a guest of VMware.