VMware chief executive and president Paul Maritz discussed the firm's new strategy and competition from Microsoft in a question and answer session with members of the international press on Tuesday at VMworld.
Can you sum up the strategy that was launched today?
We want to deliver three things to customers:
1) The ability for them to operate their internal operations in a flexible manner. Customers want cloud-like services so they can act as hosting providers to internal partners. This is the reason for our launch of the Virtual Data Operatating System (VDOS).
2) Customers want – to a degree – to become more cloud-like internally and be able to federate some of this management externally, which is why we have launched the vCloud Initiative.
3) They want to change the way they provide desktops to users, and this is why we have launched the new Universal Client strategy.
Can you describe the mood in VMware at the moment as it faces increased competition from Microsoft, decreasing stock prices and a number of its senior executives stepping down?
There is always angst in an organisation when there is a turnover. A lot of people in the organisation wanted to know our strategy, and now we have laid it out and given them a roadmap, they should respond positively to that.
How would you characterise the strategy you launched today? Would you say you are moving to a services company?
No, we are not moving to services. We would call ourselves an intellectual property company.
How will you deal with increased competition from Microsoft?
Every software vendor has to deal with increased competition. We know we can't afford to stay still. We are making headway in the VDOS area, where Microsoft is uncomfortable going.
Is VDOS and your ideas on deconstructing the operating system a direct threat to Microsoft's operating model?
It is an indirect threat. It is something that has to happen to address changing application needs and Microsoft has to figure out a way to respond to us. You have to take a sophisticated view on this but I will say that traditionally the guy that has the most to lose is the most conservative.
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