In VMware’s blog response to how they’re handling VMworld 2009 exhibitors, the company writes “Microsoft and Citrix have already signed up and will of course be participating in the conference this year.” What VMware did NOT disclose is that both Citrix and Microsoft are being confined to 10-foot by 10-foot booths this year, even though they both asked for larger ones. VMware will not accept their money for larger booths and is denying them the space. The larger booths, it turns out, are only available to VMware TAP partners, with all non-partners limited to the 10x10 booths.
So while VMware will allow Microsoft to be at VMworld 2009 this September, Microsoft have show off Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, App-V, MED-V, Calista, RDP7, System Center, and Windows 7 XP mode in 100 jam-packed square feet! And for Citrix? I hope they can fit their 47 virtualization-related products into a single rack!
The best part is that a provision in the sponsor agreement says that (1) exhibitor employees must remain in the boundaries of their booths, and (2) no crowds watching demos are allowed to spill out of the booth into the common traffic areas, and if they do, VMware reserves the right to “resolve the situation.” (I am absolutely not making that up.)
Does this sound like a company that is “totally committed to continuing to make VMworld the leading virtualization conference in the world, highlighting the rich, diverse ecosystem that is the virtualization marketplace?” Does it sound like VMware really wants to “encourage companies to exhibit and participate that compete with us in one fashion, but complement us in others. It’s all about customers and community?”
Look, I understand this is a VMware conference, and as such, it’s VMware’s decision to do whatever they want. My problem is that they’re limiting the competition on one hand while at the same time claiming the event is an industry event on the other. That’s the BS that I hope stops.
The bottom line: I’m behind VMware’s decision to limit competition, but ONLY IF they stop calling this thing an industry conference and start calling it a VMware conference. Or, even better, maybe VMware will drop the 10x10 limit for non-partners and really open this up like they're claiming it is already!