One of the best part of the VMworld Europe 2009 last week (see virtualization.info live coverage of day 1 and day 2) has been an unannanced (and unplugged) Q&A session with VMware leadership: Paul Maritz (President and CEO), Tod Nielsen (COO), Stephen Herrod (CTO) and Maurizio Carli (GM EMEA).
The four executives addressed questions coming from the attendees via email and microphone.
Despite a shy audience, few questions were rather interesting.
The first, and probably most important one was: What VMware is going to do to keep ahead of Microsoft?
In normal circumstances the answer wouldn’t raise exceptional interest. What a VMware executive can publicly say about the topic is well-known. But in this case the answer was given by Paul Maritz, the former Microsoft top executive that replaced the company founder Diane Greene just six months ago.
Nobody inside VMware is more knowledgeable about the competitor and its strategies.
Maritz made a couple of points that it’s really important to highlight:
- even (for) a company with Microsoft’s capability and resources it’s not trivial to match the level of investment that you have to do (in the virtualization space)
- if we start thinking we have a lead that can never be closed that would be a problem for us but we have no intention in doing that
The entire Q&A sessions deserved to be attended and hopefully VMware will repeat the experiment for VMworld 2008 in September.
Who missed it can see the whole recording on this page.