VMware chief executive Paul Maritz told journalists today that he was flattered by an open letter penned by Microsoft to attendees of VMware's annual VMworld conference, published in national newspaper USA Today.
Penned by Microsoft's server and tools vice president, Brad Anderson, the letter attempts to persuade "VMworld customers" to avoid signing three year ELAs (enterprise license agreements) with VMware for vSphere 4.0, and instead sign up to Microsoft's hosted Office, Exchange, Sharepoint and SQL services or its Azure cloud compute.
"We can provide you with scalable worldwide public cloud computing services that VMware does not offer," read the letter.
Maritz [pictured] told iTnews today that he saw his former employer's letter as a "sincere form of flattery", as it acknowledged the scale of VMware's event - which has 17,000 registered attendees.
But Maritz said that for Microsoft to argue that users risk being locked-in to VMware's vSphere technology is "a case of pot calling kettle black."
He went on to say that VMware was not interested in a race to compete on the commoditised hypervisor market, but instead play in the "datacentre automation" market.