I am at the VMWare User Group meeting
A quick poll by me earlier and what I saw at the presentation was that there is a lot of tire kicking going on between the VMx vendors. Xen and VMWare ESX are clearly the leaders, but for different reasons - especially in the channel. VMWare was claimimg that their 3.5 ships with a lot of features that Citrix/Xen does not so from a channel view there is less money to be made for the VAR with VMWare since they bundle in a lot of stuff that you can make margin on with Citrix/Xen by augmenting the Citrix/Xen solution with other products. The downside is for the customer that if you have to license comparable products to what 3.5 ships with thats a lot of vendor relationships to manage (isn't that what the VAR's do?). Makes me wonder if VMWare's channel strategy will mimc Novell's... They need to fix that messaging in my opinion if they are to be successful in the channel and garner their channel's support, otherwise MSFT will kick the crap out of them because they figured out the channel a LOOOOONG time ago and it drives their business. StongChannel with a hot new product could gobble up market share quickly.
the next question was answered by saying 'we'd be stupid to think that VMWare won't see increased competition and some market share loss to MSFT, but we believe we are 16-18 months ahead of them in product development' - in other words, they'll get there, we're still better for the next 1-2 years, so stick with us. They also threw up some slides that I will try to get over to you if I can.