Microsoft and VMware exchanged blows this week over which was the most outdated company, with Redmond depicting “VMLimited’s” big-moustached sales guy, Tad, flogging "virt" from the back of a van.
Asked whether VMLimited’s price was based on “unlimited use”, Tad replies: “Oh absolutely, in fact the more you use the more you pay.”
Tad later draws a blank after being asked by another customer to explain its new pricing structure.
The virtualisation company recently changed its licensing terms by tying them to a physical processor, which caused some customers to threaten to move to Microsoft’s HyperV.
VMware chief executive Paul Maritz did not respond directly to Microsoft’s campaign, but his VMworld conference keynote made a point of explaining how fast IT was moving to a post-PC world -- a point Redmond has tried to spin as the PC-plus era.
“Three years ago over 95 percent of the devices connected to the Internet were personal computers. Three years from now that number will probably be less than 20 percent.
Redmond’s latest video continued its long-running tradition of harassing rivals at major conferences.
Early efforts included Microsoft’s “million dollar mug”, an idea Microsoft’s head of communications Frank Shaw hatched for Larry Ellison’s keynote at the 2000 Comdex conference.
The mere sight of the Microsoft cup purportedly caused Oracle sales people to drop prices by 20 percent.
Though drier than its current VM-Limited campaign, last year Microsoft took out a full page ad in USA Today urging customers at the VMworld conference not to sign multi-year agreements with the company, but instead sign up its own hosted software and Azure cloud.
Maritz said at the time he considered the comments by his former employer “a form of flattery”.