05 March 2007 VMware attacks Microsoft

The MSFT licensing “whitepaper” by VMware generated a lot of buzz. Some even went as far as comparing it to Netscape and suggesting that we all should expect a lawsuit by VMware – oh, please. Few comments in this regard:

·         Before blaming MSFT, VMware needs to take an effort to be more forthcoming with their APIs and formats. Unlike MSFT’s VHD spec, VMDK SDK and specs cannot be freely downloaded and VMware VMI specification is not implemented in any VMware product.

·         Microsoft has been, slowly but surely, changing their licensing for server products towards making it less restrictive – Windows Data Center allows unlimited number of virtual environments, as well as SQL Server Enterprise allows unlimited number of SQL Server instances on one box regardless of what server virtualization product is used.

·         I am, myself, not very excited about a perspective of paying $300 for Vista Business if I want to run Vista on my Mac (inside Parallels), but Vista is not being very widely deployed yet, so it’s not really an imminent problem. And as a Mac user I will stick with XP simply because all Windows software I need runs fine on XP.

Bottom line, for the moment all these problems are all but hypothetical. We should of course let MSFT know if we are unhappy with some of their policies, but it’s way too early to ring the bell. So, let’s tell them, not scream and yell at them – that way we have a much better chance of being heard.


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From: (Anonymous)
Date: March 8th, 2007 - 12:10 am
hmm Link
VMware claim that the vmdk format is open. You can sign up to receive an email with a download link here:
The related press release (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmdk.html) states "This will enable use by all developers, software vendors and projects and includes open licensing compatible with those operating under open source licenses such as the GPL."

VMware Workstation 6.0 which is still in beta supports VMI (http://www.vmware.com/products/beta/ws/releasenotes_ws60_beta.html). The next linux kernel 2.6.21 (http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/2/10/56) will also support it. I don't know if the chicken or the egg was first, but both these products supporting each other will probably be out in a couple of months.

From: virtuozzo
Date: March 8th, 2007 - 02:05 am
Re: hmm Link
VMDK format has more than a dozen versions, and last time I checked many of them were not documented. Also, I don't understand why I should register to download the format spec.
VMI is not supported by VMware products. I don't know when a beta will be out and what features will make it into the release. And, apparently, there is no mentioning of any server product supporting VMI.
It's very sad that VMware has been so into FUD lately. FUD that is very easy to see if you take a moment to think about it. They have a great product and 80+% market share, so there is no reason really for them to be so "proactive".
From: (Anonymous)
Date: March 29th, 2007 - 01:25 pm
Re: hmm Link
there is no need to be so "proactive" unless a well known big company enter the virtualization market...

I think there will be a big battle with Vmware alone in one side and on the other side MS+Xen and after first battle it becomes MS vs XEN.
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