At the official start of VMworld Microsoft took out a full page ad in USA Today, a newspaper seen more outside hotel rooms than news-stands in my experience, warning potential cloud buyers to avoid long term licence agreements.
"VMware is asking many of you to sign three-year license agreements for your virtualisation projects," said Brad Anderson, vice president for Microsoft's server and tools division.
"But with the arrival of cloud computing, signing up for a three-year virtualisation commitment may lock you into a vendor that cannot provide you with the breadth of technology, flexibility or scale that you'll need to build a complete cloud computing environment. If you're evaluating a new licensing agreement with VMware, talk to us first."
However, Paul Maritz, chief executive of VMware said the advert showed Microsoft's weaknesses and accused the company of hypocrisy.
"For Microsoft to talk about locking customers is a severe case of the pot calling the kettle black," he said.
"I think it's a very sincere form of flattery that they feel the need to take out a full page advertisement to address our customer effects. I smiled when I saw that this morning."
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