So I'm super late sharing info on MSFT's first time presence at VMworld conference and other spots. VMworld took place Oct. 18-20. Instead of me saying it, here's comments from a guy down the hall who attended the show:

“What are you doing here?” was by far the most frequently asked question at our booth at VMworld this year.  Attendees were pleasantly surprised to see that we had the audacity to show up, and that VMware allowed it!  Regardless, the booth was pretty much packed from the start of the show.  We distributed thousands of CDs and vouchers for Virtual Server and Virtual Server R2, and distributed thousands of Windows Server R2 RC0 CDs.  The high-availability demos for Virtual Server were a big hit and the team was in constant delivery mode. There were also quite a few questions regarding the licensing changes and whether they applied to both VMware’s products and Virtual Server.

Another highlight of the show was Diane Green (CEO of VMware) stopping by our booth to receive her free copies of Virtual Server ... I'm waiting for the pictures. And if their show moves outside the U.S., we'll be set because Virtual Server 2005 R2 will be localized in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese (traditional and simplified).

Last week was also Gartner's IT Expo and Symposium conference. Tom Bittman, the Microsoft watcher at Gartner, spoke favorably of the virtualization licensing announcement in his session on Microsoft and Windows overall. He commended Microsoft for its leadership in virtualization pricing based on instances running instead of installed. In addition, he said that "the whole software market needs to change" in reference to software licensing models. Alvin Park, Gartner's licensing analyst, has also made positive mention of Microsoft’s work with both multicore and virtualization licensing – noting other vendors will follow suite.

Also last week of HP's Tech World conference. Here's a summary of that trip report:

Virtual Server was the hit of the symposium.  We started off stingy and then opened the flood gates.   We had the Virtual Server demo displayed on the plasma. Virtual Server was actually running on the [HP] DL380’s  (3 total) with 4 virtual machines on each.  The story of our booth was consolidation through virtualization using blade technology.  

According to this article, IDC sees the fastest virtualization adoption on Windows and Linux servers. Here's the excerpt:

According to surveys by IDC, more than 75 percent of companies with more than 500 employees are deploying servers with virtualization technologies, and customer satisfaction with these technologies is very high. More than half of the virtualized machines deployed to date are being used in production, including for mission-critical workloads. As for revenue, virtualized systems that run Unix, OS/400, and mainframe operating systems like z/VM and z/OS currently account for the bulk of spending on virtualized systems, but there is rapid growth on Windows and Linux platforms, says IDC's analysts. Server buyers are telling IDC that, on average, they expect about 45 percent of all servers they buy in 2006 to have virtualization technologies.

Patrick