VMware Ultimate Challenge near the end

On February 27th 2006 VMware launched one of the coolest challenge IT communities ever saw in modern times: creating the slimmest, fastest, most useful and open source virtual machine ever. Something which can be used by anyone worldwide for free, simply downloading powering on the VMware Player, and which the company calls Virtual Appliance.

The challenge, originally called VMware Ultimate Challenge, is so cool surely for the high objective but most of all for final prize: $200,000 for winners (half of them only for the first place).

The first phase of the challenge, the virtual machine submission, is going to close (the final day is set for May 26th) and, even if it propagated in the IT world like an earthquake, until now there are no news at all.

It’s quite understandable every competitor is afraid of disclosing his idea too early and permit others to get in at last minute and, with enough manpower, clone it, but at this point quite everybody is asking how many registrations VMware recorded and how many submissions they received…

A partial answer has been given by Michael Blonsky, Senior Manager of Virtual Appliances and ISV Solutions at VMware, which revealed on a VMTN forum, at the end of April, his company recorded almost 1,200 registrations but not even a single submission.

This means that VMware will have to face a massive upload near the deadline, and have to work hard to publish all submissions on the Virtual Appliances Directory.

If really all 1,200 (maybe more since another 15 days have passed) registrants will submit one virtual machine (but I heard some of them wanting to submit more than one) VMTN Community readers and official judging panel will have a huge work to recognize top virtual appliances.

The winners will be announced on August 14th: will 2,5 months be enough to choose?