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This VMworld Thing is Like Watching a Train Wreck

Watching VMware destroy their public image over this VMworld exhibitor agreement is like watching a train wreck: you want to take your eyes off of it, but it’s just so awful and so terrible that you’re mesmerized.

In case you don’t have any idea what’s going on, jump over and give this post a quick read. Done? OK, let’s continue.

In the update to that post, I said that VMware had clarified their position and that competition would be allowed at VMworld. Being the person that I am—I tend to take people at their word and trust that they are as honest and straightforward as I am—I left it at that. I was a bit curious to know why the exhibitors’ agreement contained language that was specifically targeted at their competition if all they wanted was a way to prevent exhibitors from behaving in an unseemly fashion, but rather than stirring up waters that had already been muddied I would just let things settle and see what happened.

Well, what happened was that Brian Madden—whom I have no reason not to trust, but at the same time I don’t know him personally—reports here that VMware is restricting the size of the booth that both Microsoft and Citrix are allowed to use. According to Brian, only VMware TAP Partners are allowed larger booths.

Alessandro Perilli—whom I do know personally, and I whom I know wouldn’t publish anything unless he was quite certain of his sources—also refers to Brian’s post in his own post here, lending further credibility to the claims of VMware’s actions.

So, let’s sum it up:

  • VMware adds language to their exhibitors’ agreement that is specifically targeted at their competitors in an effort to prevent unseemly behavior at VMworld.

  • VMware claims that competition will be allowed and they want to encourage a rich ecosystem of partners and competitors.

  • VMware limits their two key competitors, Microsoft and Citrix, to a 10 foot-by-10 foot booth, and further states that exhibitor employees must remain in the boundaries of their booth. (To be fair, VMware is also refusing to take their money for a larger booth.)

I tell my kids all the time, “Actions speak louder than words.” What would you derive from VMware’s actions?

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