VMware's threat to Microsoft
First off, I'm not suggesting VMware is gunning for Microsoft. However, recent developments in their product line aren't exactly favorable to Microsoft.
Aw, so what? Might as well say that my political opinions aren't favorable to the Republican Party. George Bush isn't losing any sleep over that, and I'm sure Microsoft doesn't give a whole lot of worry to VMware.
But maybe they should.
First, as I've noted here before, virtualization is coming at us like a freight train. It's in the big data centers now, and it's moving downward. It will be ubiquitous very soon. The reasons are obvious: convenience, failover, recovery, patch testing, and more. Get on the train or get knocked aside by the wind; this is going to happen.
In the data centers, VMware's ESX server is being heavily deployed. Note that ESX is not a hosted application: it's an operating system. So while Microsoft Windows OSes may very well be running under it, it doesn't need Microsoft: Windows is just another hosted OS for it to manage. Of course it doesn't need Linux either, but that's not much comfort to the Microsofties.