In light of all the focus on this blog on virtualization with Don's recent posts on the subject as well as my own, I thought the recent eWEEK article "Is VMware a Dead Duck?" sparked some interesting debate in the comments below it.

The gist of the piece is that with everyone jumping on the virtualization bandwagon, what's going to happen to VMware's current 80% of the virtualization market? The author, Steven J. Vaughan-Nicols, thinks they'll be lucky to have 8% in 5 years. Combine all the open source offerings listed in the article, along with the big players such as Microsoft, Citrix and Oracle and VMware has certainly got to be looking over it's shoulder. Die-hard VMware fan-boys (and gals) may argue that VMware has the best product out there, but a company like Microsoft has the resources to overtake any current best of breed offering, given time and motivation. I used VMware when I began consulting a number of years back and then switched to Virtual Server when it became available for free, to build out client environments for development and testing. I'm excited with the advances we're making in this area and the Hyper-V technology (yes, that's the new official name for Windows Server virtualization, announced on Monday at the TechEd IT Forum 2007 in Barcelona) is definitely going in the right direction, imho.

I wouldn't rule out VMware's existence in the immediate future, however, I think the competition will be good for the customer, forcing prices to come down. IT shops that may not have had the budget to consider virtualization now have free options available to them such as Virtual Server 2005 or adding Hyper-V to their future Windows Server 2008 installations. And options are always a good thing, aren't they?