VMware's three-day conference, which began Tuesday in San Francisco, provides the once-obscure company with an opportunity to build on the buzz created by its lucrative initial public offering of stock less than a month ago.
"This is their moment in the sun," said Erik Josowitz, vice president of product strategy of Surgient Inc., one of many software makers hoping to ride VMWare's coattails. "They have every reason to be having a very big party right now."
VMware's software steers a process known as "virtualization," which allows computers to harness more of their unused power and run more applications at once without a hiccup. More than 20,000 companies already use VMware's software.
Investors are flocking to VMware too. The Palo Alto-based company's initial public offering raised $1.1 billion, the most a high-tech company has pulled in since Internet search leader Google Inc. went public three years ago.
VMware's stockholders have enjoyed the ride as shares have nearly tripled from their initial price of $29. The stock hit a new high of $82.75 Tuesday before finishing the regular trading session at $76.65.
With a market value approaching $30 billion, VMware already is worth more than all but three publicly traded software makers — Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG.