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VMware and EMC: How long will the love last?

It all depends how you control your lover. They say in relationships: "If you love somebody, set them free!". Well Sting said that, remember?

VMware is on a totally different boat, they have a totally different destination. EMC has done a great job as a parent but this kid has now graduated out of the best of the colleges and wants to explore the world.

I personally think, EMC has been a wonderful parent and VMware has been a great kid! Have you ever wondered what would have been VMware's fate if Microsoft had been the acquirer (devourer?). Anyways our friends at Reg have long promoted the idea of spinning off VMware and someday they surely will fly. And that time is not far away...

Well, I've heard rumors that VMware CEO Diane Greene and EMC CEO Joe Tucci already have a strained relationship. These are only rumors, mind you, and nothing more.

Even if things have yet to reach Tension Point, however, they almost certainly will in the coming months should VMware's stock keep soaring. Why should the flashy, nimble VMware remain controlled by a lumbering disk vendor like EMC, especially if VMware is mightier on paper than EMC? Why should Greene be bullied by five - out of six - board members with very strong - often direct - ties to EMC? Why should VMware be weighed down by EMC's baggage? Let's not forget that the company competes against VMware's strongest allies.

Why should VMware spend time worrying about doing more than its fair share of product tie-in work to keep its software running well with EMC hardware when it has new friends like Intel and Cisco to woo? And, lastly, why should VMware do all this dirty work on Wall Street only to see Tucci get a pat on the back for a job well done?

VMware's rocketing share price would seem to exacerbate any existing tensions. In addition, it may well create new tensions. Will Greene take any guff at all from Tucci and Co. when she's responsible for the storage vendor's Wall Street revitalization? I can't help but wonder if Greene doesn't eye that EMC CEO post.

The analysts are only dishing out what they believe and desire. But they and investors seem to be pushing these two companies - one locked inside the other - toward an uncomfortable if not untenable position.


OK I am not some paparazzi reporter sneaking behind the couches to air out some grunts and scowling to you, all I can say is that when VMware will be ready, it'll be ready.

Ashlee reporting...

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