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End user computing is a developing area for VMware, and you've recently added some pieces to your collaboration portfolio with the acquisitions of SlideRocket and Socialcast. What's the rationale behind building your expertise in this area?
Both in the end user area and in the developer area, we're trying to shoot ahead and take some risks. We think there are big changes coming in both how applications are developed and how they're provisioned and consumed. And this is the time to try and get ahead, and that's what we're doing with those acquisitions.
Most VMware channel partners aren't really familiar with these companies -- should they be?
We put these acquisitions into two categories: one is about near term direct extensions of what we're doing. We certainly try and make them available [to partners]. VCenter Operations, which is based on an acquisition of a company called Integrien last year, will be certainly something that has very close adjacency to vSphere. We certainly will want the higher end of our channel to be able to sell that product and promote it.
For other products that are further out, we're holding those back until we've got more development around those products. And then we will bring them back both to VMware's sales force as well as our channel.
VMware has tackled many technical barriers in its history, but like any virtualization and cloud vendor, many of the obstacles you're facing today are psychological ones. For example, companies are afraid about storing data in the cloud. Can you talk about how VMware works to overcome these fears?
In virtualization, the good news is that the psychological barriers are largely behind us. At this point in time, virtualization is not a concept that we have to go and evangelize, it's becoming quite accepted. If you believe Gartner's figures, sometime by the end of the year there will be more applications running on virtual servers than on physical servers.
Cloud is still an issue where people still don’t quite know what it's going to mean for their organization, in terms of how to manage IT, structure internal IT departments, etc. This is an issue that we increasingly have to come to grips with as we talk to our customers and explain to them that there are different ways to think about this. My sense is that cloud is where virtualization was four or five years ago. We're going to see the same cycle play through.
Google has been attracting growing scrutiny from government regulatory authorities. As a former Microsoft executive who testified on behalf of the company in its landmark antitrust case, what are your thoughts when you see Google getting this kind of attention?
As my mother would say, Google is big enough, bad enough and ugly enough to take care of themselves.
That's a political process they're getting into, not a technical process or a legal process. I think one of our mistakes at Microsoft was we thought it was a technical/legal issue. It wasn't -- it was a political issue. And I think if we’d realized that earlier we'd have probably saved ourselves a lot of pain along the way.