As new hopefuls jump aboard the virtualization bandwagon, incumbent market leader VMware
For an undisclosed and presumably rather small amount, VMware just picked up virtual-server consulting firm Foedus, as well as application virtualizer Thinstall. VMware has now bought three companies since going public and becoming independent from its former parent company, and it's picked up seven since June 2006, predating the EMC spinoff. Yes, subsidiaries can make deals of their own sometimes.
Of the two new additions, Thinstall is easily the most intriguing. With its application-packaging software, you can bundle up any application into a single, self-sufficient binary that runs from a USB thumb drive. The miniature virtual operating system that's wrapped around the software keeps settings and program libraries separated from the Microsoft
We've seen that story play itself out many times before: A fresh innovator comes along and breaks the established rules of some entrenched business. When the big boys join the fray, the new kid simply grows faster, since its methods have received an implicit stamp of approval from the competition. Wal-Mart's DVD mailers didn't destroy Netflix. Tibco Software
Citrix is riding that same wave, while reciprocating the compliment back to VMware when it bought virtual-server platform XenSource last year. These guys should be able to feed off each other, and off other industry giants, for years to come.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Netflix shareholder but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is always at the forefront of trustworthy financial coverage.