Pushing the Focus Away from VMware
I was talking with one analyst who said it was interesting that you guys have pushed the focus a little bit away from VMware, so we have all of these partnerships, such as Hewlett-Packard, on the desktop. Why did you decide to do that? Do you need their expertise? The essence of being a strategic long-term platform is that you have to work with a broader set of people. The whole benefit of a platform is that it provides a way in which multiple parties can work together on behalf of the customer. So, as important as our technology is, that technology will provide a meeting point where we and our partners can work together.There are really two levels to it. The most important thing is actually not for us to react to them-[but] to remain focused on what we see as the important things for our customers. And, solving these three big problems: How do we allow [our customers]-with multiple, heterogeneous applications and operating systems in the environment-to become fundamentally more flexible and efficient? That's job No. 1 for us. That's the virtual data center operating system. How do we open the door for them to start using resources outside of their environment, in the cloud? That's Job No. 2. Then job No. 3: How do we really solve the desktop problem? So, our first response is to remain focused on those three challenges and to make sure we execute well on them. Now, we share some of that vision with Microsoft. Microsoft would like to solve some of those problems, as well, for our customers. So it's important that we maintain our lead. We are ahead of Microsoft in virtualization technology. They've announced that they are going to try to duplicate many of our features, but they're not at parity today. And it behooves us to stay ahead. So, when you're competing with strong competitors, you can't afford to make mistakes and you need to stay ahead. Microsoft-and you probably know this better than anybody-has the resources and can probably rapidly improve a 1.0 product as they move along, so ... ? So, if you stand still, you'll get picked off. [Laughs.] So, the key is not to stand still.
The one company that you've mentioned again and again is Microsoft, and I know you're a former Microsoft executive. How is the world of virtualization changing, and how does VMware react to Microsoft and, to some extent, Citrix and smaller players coming in?