VMware clarifies: “We WILL allow competition at VMworld”

Earlier today I wrote an article about VMware changing the sponsorship terms of VMworld which will prohibit vendors from demonstrating products that VMware perceives as competition.

Earlier today I wrote an article about VMware changing the sponsorship terms of VMworld which will prohibit vendors from demonstrating products that VMware perceives as competition. (Read the original article here.) In the past few hours, VMware has clarified their position on this. (Read their clarification)

The good news: Nothing in principle is changing for VMworld 2009.

So what happened?

At the last VMworld, some sponsors / exhibitors specifically trashed their competition and trashed VMware. VMware wanted to prevent that from happening again this year, but they didn’t have any text in their sponsor agreement that would let them enforce that. So they looked at the sponsor agreements from other industry events (like TechEd) and added the language that we referenced yesterday.

So the facts are:

  1. YES, that anti-competitive text was added to the agreement and was NOT in there last year.
  2. It was more of a legalese change, and not a change of policy for VMworld or what VMware wants the event to be.

So that’s great news! I still think it was stupid of them to make that change without discussing why, as it certainly looks like they tried to slip something in. But the end result seems to be a positive one. (And I think this is yet again an example of the power of the community. Thanks to everyone who tweeted and blogged about this!)

It still seems a little weird that they have to include that text if they're not planning on enforcing it, but I guess it's nice to have in their back pocket if they need it.

Now I only have one small complaint about their “official” response: They say that text is industry standard for conferences. I think they mean for vendor conferences, because we have no such text at BriForum. :)

See everyone at VMworld this September!

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If you saw the pitiful booth they had at Citrix Synergy who could blame them for trying anything to get a competitive advantage.  If a multi-media clip displayed in the tiniest of windows is the best they can do....


Joe


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Non vendor conferences are a bit different. It's unlikey that someone is going to at BriForum start handing out leaflets saying "Brian costs too much" :)


It's easy to say for an independent event that this language doesn't exist right up until the point where someone turns up to your event and heckles you. At that point the rules change. Even for an independent event it would be irresponsible not to put some protection to prevent the incident from occurring again. I think that's what VMware is doing here. Whether they end up using it or not, time will tell. However, they now have the legalese to protect them. To do othewise would be irresponsible given what happened last year.


Paul


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I was just at their launch event in Minneapolis today and one of their VP's specifically said "Its called VMworld and not VMware World because its supposed to be a meeting for the whole Virtualization Industry".


Lock it down if you want, you don't even have to call it Vmware World, but don't hype that its open to the whole industry.


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@Joe Shonk You want to know the reason why the VMware booths are small at Citrix Synergy and TechEd? VMware (as a competitor) is limited to certain levels of partnership and certain size and location of booths. Also a stupid industry practice at trade shows. Happens pretty much everywhere.


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