We spend a lot of time at Gartner looking ahead. But it’s also fun to look at what might have been…
- What if no one had developed an x86 hypervisor? How well would multi-core x86 processors be selling today?
- What if Microsoft had acquired VMware in 2001? Would they have snuffed it out (until something else like Xen came along), or used it to develop their own architecture sooner than Hyper-V in 2008?
- What if Microsoft had aggressively improved the ability to run multiple workloads on Windows (like Solaris containers)? What if Microsoft had acquired SWSoft (Virtuozzo) years ago?
- What if VMware had started giving away ESX Server for free in 2005? Sooner? Would they have been able to grow more business in small business – the market that Microsoft is winning today?
- What if IBM or HP had jumped into the Xen market in 2005? And built their own virtualization management suites, integrated with their broad management frameworks? What if either had acquired VMware in 2001?
- What if Intel had acquired VMware? Could they have used that to gain more control in the Microsoft/Intel relationship with the OEMs? Management tools?
- What if Microsoft had delivered Hyper-V two years earlier?
- What if Oracle, Sun, Novell and Red Hat had agreed to leverage Citrix XenServer instead of their own versions of Xen?
- What if VMware had acquired Opsware, or BladeLogic?
- What if VMware had acquired Citrix – before Citrix bought XenSource? Who would be Microsoft’s partner in the competition with VMware?
- What if Red Hat had acquired XenSource?
- What if Xen didn’t exist? Would Microsoft be able to embed and give away virtualization capability without raising new antitrust concerns?
I can go on and on – but it’s Friday night. Can you think of a few?