You blew it, VMware (NYSE:VMW).

Or maybe you didn't. But whatever the behind-the-scenes machinations, virtualization toolmaker Transitive is now in IBM's (NYSE:IBM) hands. (Big Blue acquired the firm last week for an undisclosed sum, Computerworld reports.)

Transitive should have been yours, VMware. Here's what your team said about the company in a blog post from May, ahead of the digital VMworld.com conference:

Transitive does something quite interesting -- they can dynamically translate from one machine architecture to another. This can be quite complementary to VMware and our flavor of virtualization. You can, for instance, take your apps compiled for the Solaris/SPARC platform, move them to your new x86 box running ESX and Linux and go to town.

IBM's interest is easy to understand. Transitive's code is baked into Big Blue's own virtualization software, built for customers who want to run Linux software designed for Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) x86 architecture on its PowerPC servers or mainframes.

(Yawn.)

Well, OK. It's more important than that. But Transitive could have done so much more for you, VMware. At the very least, it would have made for a more convincing argument against Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) limited-yet-improving Hyper-V virtualization software. It would go something like this:

You want to virtualize your SPARC servers? Sure, we can do that. Dell's (NASDAQ:DELL) x86? Yep, we can do that, too. IBM's PowerPC? Yep. Oh, all you need is to virtualize a single x86 Windows server? Sure, Microsoft can help you there. We think.

Mr. Softy is playing hardball, VMware. Transitive was a big, fat pitch that you just swung through. Strike one.

Get your clicks with related Foolishness:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.