In July, VMware set off some unexpected fireworks when it announced its new vSphere 5.0 product was coming with a pricing change that increased overall licensing costs for large enterprise customers. When InformationWeek surveyed our readers about the VMware pricing change, they spoke clearly. In our survey, 25% called it a major deterrent to adoption, 27% called it somewhat of a deterrent, and 9% called it a deal breaker. After griping like this from customers--and some pundits making comparisons to Microsoft and Oracle licensing pain--VMware modified the policy, within a few weeks.
VMware CEO Paul Maritz learned a thing or two while he was at Microsoft. He loves to use certain catchphrases in his speeches, such as comparing his cloud competitors to Hotel California, where "you can check in, but you can never leave." The company that Gates built also taught him about cash cows and the importance of not being seen as greedier than Larry Ellison.
Maritz's team took a black eye for this episode from some of its customers running the fastest with virtualization, though by the time he gathered the faithful for the VMworld conference later in the summer, the bruised customer feelings had mostly healed. (See what else InformationWeek's Charles Babcock thinks VMware did right and wrong in 2011.) --Laurianne McLaughlin