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VMware is well known in the enterprise, but not as much in SMB. What are you doing to change this perception?
SMB is where we've created products like vSphere Essentials and taken our price points down specifically to target that area. And we've seen pretty dramatic unit growth down there, all of which is going into the SMB market. It's not like Microsoft is going to get zero percent market share, but I think they're probably surprised with how resilient we've been.
VMware's Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) is an interesting product that captured a lot of attention at the Mobile World Congress back in February. Can you talk about how virtualization can be used to deliver the one mobile device for work and play?
MVP is still very much an experiment. We're going through trials to see how people react to it. We need to see how users are going to react to this concept of having two phones in one phone, and how enterprises will like it.
It's an example of having to deal with this dilemma our enterprises customers face. On the one hand, their employees are increasingly not going to be comfortable with being told that they can only have one version of a black laptop with a specific version of Windows on it. There's a huge revolt against that.
Businesses can't stop these new consumer driven devices from getting into people's hands. On the other hand, they're still going to be on the hook to make sure that they're operating in a secure and compliant environment, and that their information doesn't get compromised by a hacked version of Angry Birds and transmitted to Turkemistan, or whatever it is.
So there's a real challenge here. You want to allow users to get access to all the great stuff that's coming out of the consumer world and still maintain a secure and compliant environment. It's going to require different approaches, and MVP is an experiment to learn if this is one of the ways we can try and square that circle.
Some handset makers are simply cramming all of the business and consumer features onto a single device without using virtualization. Can this approach work too?
The advantage of virtualization is that it provides an absolute firewall. The problem is, when you’re cramming everything onto one device, and users are installing apps there from unknown sources, it's very hard for the enterprises to be assured that their world isn't being infected by the consumer's personal world. And virtualization is a very strong firewall to wall those two things off. That's why people are interested in it.
Being able to measure all the moving parts in a virtual or cloud environment is a key requirement for many customers. Can you talk about how VMware's recent acquisition of Digital Fuel helps get you to that goal?
We're early on in that journey, but we believe that customers need to become more efficient and better informed both a producers and consumers of IT infrastructure. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Digital Fuel is a step in that direction.
Next: Recent Acquisitions And End User Computing