6. The Microsoft-VMware War
The software industry is rife with bitter rivalries, but this year there was none more heated than the one between Microsoft and VMware. While VMware is the king of virtualization, Microsoft's been gaining ground with its Hyper-V technology. Throughout 2012 the two vendors engaged in claims and counter-claims to have the most cost-effective virtualization technology. Microsoft, for example, launched a VMware Costs More campaign early on, while VMware frequently fired back at Microsoft's competitive "trash talking." Microsoft went on the offensive with its new Hyper-V technology in Windows Server 2012. VMware spent part of the year on the defensive after it took heat from partners for its proposed vRAM licensing plan for vSphere 5 that customers said would boost virtualization costs. In August VMware backed off and dropped the plan in what was seen as an effort to stay cost-competitive with Microsoft. Microsoft also angered some partners when it added license requirements to Windows 8 Software Assurance that raised costs for companies that use Apple iPads and other non-Windows devices to access virtual desktop infrastructure.