MICROSOFT AND CITRIX aren't sponsoring the VMworld virtualisation conference after a flaming handbags at dawn fight with rival VMware.
Although the show is dominated by VMware it is seen as one of the biggest virtualisation software shows in the IT industry. The Vole and its pal Citrix have stumped up cash to help run it and nearly 200 companies will be there.
However now the two claim that VMware is unfairly limiting competition at the show, an accusation that VMware has denied with a shrug.
The Vole claims new restrictions on vendors will prevent it from demonstrating its System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 at VMworld, and Citrix claims VMware ordered it to reschedule a Citrix Technology Professionals summit meeting so it doesn't overlap with VMworld.
Citrix wrote in a statement that VMworld has become a proprietary event run by one vendor. It has the right to change the rules in any way it wishes. "Citrix respects that and will fully comply with the terms of our show contract with them. When it comes down to it, if customers want a more open event, they will have to give that feedback directly to VMware or vote with their feet by attending other shows that don't restrict competitors."
Competition between the three companies has been hotting up and Microsoft and Citrix have been jumping into bed together.
The row has been brewing since May when VMware modified its sponsor and exhibitor agreement to say that products exhibited at VMworld must be "complementary to VMware products and technologies." It added that "competing vendors [will be] allowed to exhibit, including exhibiting competing products." Lucky them.
However that was not the message that Microsoft got. It was allowed a booth but was not allowed to show off products that challenged VMware kit.
Writing in his bog, the Vole's Patrick O'Rourke said, "In short, it's their show, it's not an industry show, and they set the rules."
It seems that VMware wants to avoid a situation like that which happened last year. The Vole handed out fake casino chips directing attendees to a Web site titled "VMware Costs Way Too Much."
Citrix technologist Rich Crusco wrote in his bog that VMworld exhibitors were forbidden to promote any competing event within 50 miles of VMworld in the days leading up to and after the conference.
Citrix was unable to organise a meeting at a hotel near the Moscone Center, where VMworld is being held, because VMware banned the hotel from renting facilities to VMware competitors.
It looks like a win for VMware, at least for this year. Most of the 200 exhibitors will have bought their tickets and rented their hotels. They will end up going to a conference that will make VMware appear like he only virtualisation show in town.
However next year it is hard to see who will be bothered to turn up. The whole point of these sorts of events is to see lots of different technologies and make up your mind. If only one vendor is allowed to show up you might as well stay at home and make its salespeople come to you. µ