Emilio Suarez's WebLog

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

VMware to acquire SpringSource

Wow, when I read that headline I scratched my head... what? how is this possible? where did this come from?
I have been a user of VMware workstation since version 1. I have maintained virtual machines of Windows95, WindowsNT since the early days and I currently use VMware fusion on my Mac running gOs, Ubuntu, WindowsXP, Windows7 and more obscure ones.
I have known and used Spring since it was unveiled in Rod Johnson's book Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (Programmer to Programmer) and have used Spring on multiple projects and being a Grails user, I was really pleased when SpringSource acquired Grails.org.

But the integration of an OS platform company with an Application platform company may not be as head-scratching as some think.

After thinking for a while... I think it starts to make a lot of sense...

  • First, in the press release, they mention that the main reason behind this acquisition was: “The combination of SpringSource and VMware capitalizes on this shift and places us right at the intersection of the most important forces in the software market today – virtualization, modern application frameworks and cloud computing.”. This is a very interesting point. I think that this is going to position VMware in a strong position for a future that is going to be shaken by Google Chrome OS. And a present that is currently shifting towards more cloud-based applications than before.
  • Second, this changes the competitor scene. If Microsoft was the competitor before, now it is going to the IBMs and the Oracles, including possibly Google with it's Chrome OS, App Engine, and all the Google Code (guice, GWT, wave, Data, etc)
  • Third, this is a great opportunity for the SpringSource folks to build really amazing things. When you have access to a virtualized platform, your Application infrastructure can become easier to install, use, port, deploy, etc. If Spring and Grails gave you a powerful development application framework, imagine that coupled with a virtualized OS platform... what about a new OS ready for the cloud?

It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the next few months, maybe years... I hope VMware can retain the talent they got from SpringSource and I hope Spring and more importantly Grails can grow faster, with more features, better performance and more documentation ;-)

Congratulations to the SpringSource team!