VMware hits Microsoft on virtualization licensing strategy

With a long paper VMware launches a direct attack against Microsoft on several aspects of its current licensing model for virtualization scenarios.

The paper, available in HTML format for maximum exposure, highlights 7 critical points picturing the Redmond giant as an unfair competitor, trying to oblige customers adopting its virtualization products through limitations to Windows licensing:

  • Support for customers
  • Prohibitions on running Microsoft virtual machines on 3rd party virtualization software
  • De-activation of Microsoft virtual machines on 3rd party virtualization software
  • Prohibition of translation or manipulation of Microsoft VMs into other formats
  • Licensing restrictions on server virtual machine mobility
  • Prohibitions on desktop virtualization
  • Closed Windows Virtualization APIs

Some limitations detailed in ths paper are almost unknown, while others have to be verified (for example Microsoft is reporting Windows Virtualization APIs will be publicly disclosed at beta timeframe), and surely is a recommended reading.

VMware is becoming more aggressive on the market and this is the second direct attack launched against Microsoft in few months (first one was about company interoperability deal with XenSource).

These critics comes just few days after Microsoft allowed unlimited SQL Server 2005 virtual instances for customers buying its Enterprise Edition.