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Greene-free VMware joins Linux club

As open as the next proprietary vendor

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LinuxWorld VMware has joined the Linux Foundation's enterprise IT club with owner EMC, barely a month after chief executive Diane Greene was turfed out of office.

The market's biggest virtualization player said Wednesday it will help the non-profit consortium push virtualization software for Linux forward in the high-performance computing, Web 2.0 and software as a service (SaaS)areas.

"A growing number of organizations run their Linux environments on VMware virtualization, and the Linux Foundation gives us a collaborative forum to effectively address the needs of our customers," the company said in a brief statement.

VMware joins a raft of household names from the world of IT, including AMD, Intel, Red Hat, IBM, Google and Motorola.

Another notable member is VMware's parent EMC, whose CEO unceremoniously dumped VMware's chief executive Greene last month. Greene had voiced her skepticism about the ability of an open-source model to fund enough hypervisor innovation.

VMware was Wednesday busy playing up its past support for and contributions to open source and Linux. The company stressed its support for major Linux distros, its contribution of the Virtual Machine Interface (VMI) for paravirtualization and the release of an implementation of its VMware tools to open source as the Open Virtual Machine Tools.

Greene, though, cannot have won points with Tucci for not rubbing shoulders with other big names inside the Linux Foundation. Especially not as VMware's much-talked about market lead faces uncertainty in the face of open-source hypervisors Xen and KVM on Linux and Microsoft's Hyper-V on Windows.

The certainties of the past are looking undependable, meaning VMware has to look beyond its own internal brilliance to endure and grow.

Don't expect VMware to open source product or turn to the community for innovation, just because it's now a member of the Linux Foundation. Far from it.

Instead, you should expect more work from VMware to seed the market with its code and to juice up the virtualization capabilities of Linux distributions like Red Hat, Fedora, and Ubuntu.®

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