More interesting news with VMWare! Have a look at this wikipedia definition of the Pincer Maneuver. I was never really very concerned about VMWare for the cloud platform war of the future. In fact I was more concerned about Microsoft and Amazon for their remarkable influence over the ISV developer community. As many of you know, Amazon has hired many ex Microsofties to help run their tremendous developer relations programs. These two competitors are extremely powerful and should not be underestimated.
VMWare's aggressive acquisition and partner strategy is rapidly creating a very interesting competitive charge. It's interesting that they've partnered with two of the world's largest cloud operators. Google is the infrastructure operator to beat, yet they've also had a very consumer oriented perception that doesn't fit well with large enterprises. Interestingly, the VMWare partnership could offer benefits to Google to help appeal to the enterprise. Clearly, Google's public cloud operations helps VMWare. Likewise, the VMForce partnership gives VMWare's middleware a real solid cloud operator to host their application stacks as-a-Service. I think VMWare also strengthen's Force.com's presence in the cloud computing space -both via IaaS and PaaS offerings - especially since SFDC's Apex appears too proprietary for the enterprise.
VMWare has tremendous presence in the enterprise both with their virtualization products and their acquired middleware. Choosing to partner for a solid public presence is an interesting one. In some ways it can really give them a huge boost in terms of operational efficiency and maturity which I suspect their own public cloud does not yet have.
The interesting play which could leap them ahead of the pack would be bridging their public cloud presence with their on-prem private clouds. Perhaps they should have bought Cast Iron too :-). Oops, make that Boomi :-).
Well, if nothing else, they're making for some good dramma in the clouds :-).