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Although VMware is best known for its hypervisor, it now makes more money from a suite of other products, such as software to manage virtual machines. And it has been successful at persuading other computer firms to make their wares work well with its products, thus building an ecosystem around its emerging platform.
How was it possible for a newcomer to leave incumbents such as HP, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems in the dust? One reason was that VMware had the right product at the right time. More important, VMware delivered “a non-disruptive disruptive technology”, as Ms Greene puts it. Customers can install it without having to rejig their existing set-ups. By contrast, other virtualisation efforts were too ambitious and required extensive changes.