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Linux came about as a way for developers to get around the proprietary barriers that existed in the mainframe world, and you've suggested that the same sort of workaround will eventually emerge as a workaround for proprietary cloud infrastructure. How does Cloud Foundry aim to address the proprietary issue?
Our view is inevitably someone would do something like Cloud Foundry, so rather than wait for it to happen and have to react to it, we're putting our hat in the ring there and preemptively offering something there. And we're trying to do it in terms that are genuinely open, which is why we're releasing it in open source.
Is open source the main thing that differentiates Cloud Foundry from other PaaS offerings on the market?
Not the open source by itself. We think that whatever solution comes up, it will almost inevitably be open source -- open source is almost a pre-requisite. Once you're over that hurdle, it then becomes about the specific characteristics that [PaaS] layer has to have.
Cloud Foundry is drawing from the folks who we recruited for that team who've worked for Google and other places. We have baked this into it the technical characteristics that we think that kind of layer needs.
[Cloud Foundry was also built with help from Mark Lucovsky, technical director at VMware, and Derek Collison, chief architect of VMware's Cloud Services division, both of whom VMware recruited from Google].
You and Steve Jobs both see the world moving to a post Windows era. These comments get a lot of attention, particularly in light of the public sparring that VMware and Microsoft often engage in. However, VMware and Microsoft are also working closely on a number of fronts -- can you talk about the nature of this work?
Our customers have a lot of Microsoft products, and our products clearly have to work together with theirs in these environments. Both organizations, Microsoft and VMware, are mature enough to know that that has to happen, and neither of us will look good if we're doing things that prevent the interoperability that customers want.
We compete fiercely with Microsoft, but this is not a blood feud. It's genuine competition, realizing that you have to be governed by the fact that customers won't accept not passing information between the two of us.
Microsoft says Hyper-V is making inroads in the SMB market, and that it's good enough for what most organizations need. The "good enough" argument is common in IT these days as vendors focus on cost savings in their marketing. As a company regarded as the 'Cadillac' of virtualization, what’s VMware's view on the 'good enough' argument?
We have a spectrum of price points, and… why accept second best? Is there some virtue in accepting second best? No, there isn't.
We've tiered our products and taken price points up -- and down -- over the last two years to make sure that people who like the leading technology don't have an unnecessary barrier to getting it. By and large, that has worked for us.
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