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Kevin Fogarty has some interesting commentary over at Network World, in which he claims that VMware is wasting energy on declaring its technical superiority over Microsoft. His premise is that VMware is taking the same tack that vendors like Banyan Systems, WordPerfect, Digital Equipment and Novell took in past technology throwdowns. Each of them were at the top of their game, claimed superiority over Microsoft, and were beaten by “good enough” technology and strong marketing from Microsoft.

Kevin presents a very provocative case.

In my opinion, this time Microsoft seems to be following a different pattern. In some of the other rivalries Kevin mentions, Microsoft started with heavy marketing and “just OK” technology, and their marketing drove adoption long enough to give Microsoft time to catch up.

With the virtualization battleground, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be nearly as aggressive in up-front marketing of their forthcoming Hyper-V. They are late to the game and need to make a big splash when they hit the field. Do they have something more up their sleeve this time? Is their technology going to be “better than just OK”?

If nothing else, their strategy of bundling Hyper-V with Windows Server 2008 in very attractive bundles (along with Microsoft’s claims they can “manage VMware better than VMware”) will make the next year or so very interesting.

What do you think? Be sure and check out Fogarty’s article – it’s a very interesting read.