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Today VMware announced that DIane Greene would be stepping down as the CEO of VMware and was being replaced by Paul Maritz. Maritz is coming out of EMC after being the CEO of Pi which was purchased by EMC. He was also at Microsoft for 14 years where he was in charge of the development and rollout of Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Over the last few weeks there has been a ton of articles about who is better VMware or Microsoft. All of this coming after Microsofts launch of Hyper-V. There are some interesting articles pulling for both sides. Over on Server Virualization Blog there is an entry Six reasons Hyper-V will surpass VMware within 5 years. This points out things like Microsoft’s low price point and massive install base.

Others are convinced that VMware’s technology is years ahead of Microsoft and that gap in technology is what will keep VMware out front for a long time. Douglas Brown over at DABCC recently posted Five Reasons Why VMWare Virtualization is Better Than Microsoft Hyper-V.

David Marshall came out with an article last week, Hyper-V talk around the virtual water cooler in which he poses the question “What effect will it have on the current virtualization giant, VMware?”. A response came sooner than most anticipated. He also says:

VMware seems to be using its poker face while Microsoft has its day in the sun. It appears to be acting as though nothing has changed since Microsoft’s announcement. Acting as though it isn’t fazed one bit by the early release of Hyper-V, VMware is sticking to its guns and labeling the Microsoft hypervisor as a first-generation product that lacks the features and capabilities needed to compare to VMware’s current offerings.

It would seem that EMC, who owns 85% of VMware, thought that staying the current course might not be the best option. This sudden change only makes the market that much more interesting and dynamic. The affects of this are yet to be seen but I would think that you can expect an uptick in the battle between Microsoft and VMware. It will be interesting to see the steps VMware makes in the next few months.