Citrix CTO Simon Crosby

I recently had an opportunity to follow up my coverage of last month’s VMworld 2009 by interviewing the CTO of its key competitor.

Although I had been warned that Citrix’s Simon Crosby wasn’t afraid of being controversial, our conversation was a rare instance in which a senior executive of a major technology vendor was willing to trash his rival without hesitation or qualification. Not since Scott McNealy’s tirades against Microsoft (or Larry Ellison’s against SAP, perhaps) have I heard such complete and utter disdain, if not outright loathing.

Here are some of the more choice extracts from the interview:

On VMworld 2009: “I didn’t see anything profoundly new. I didn’t see anything as a technology strategist that would have been of interest to me. I heard some things that just didn’t make sense.”

On being nearly shut out of VMworld 2009:
“(VMware) did that to both us and Microsoft. We were in a position where we had no choice, basically.”

On VMware’s cloud computing strategy: “Everything they are talking about with vCloud and service providers running it is highly, way out there . . . It did not make sense to the average VMworld attendee that IT admin would be trying to be a cloud guy.”

On VMware View, the company’s desktop virtualization product:View doesn’t scale. It has a lousy end user experience. Our approach is independent of the virtual infrastructure. It delivers a 3D experience. Rather than simply being important from an IT cost and scalability perspective, if the thing is not usable by the end user, there’s no point . . . they think VM-first, rather than end-user first.”

On VMware’s SpringSource acquisition: “Springsource is just a Java platform, and that’s a tiny fraction of the market.”

On VMware’s management tools: “We have no desire to kill the ecosystem vendors who are adding value to the product, especially when what they’re offering is beyond our reach and are more tailored to the customer’s needs.”

Come on, Simon, tell us what you really think of VMware! I should add that at one point he did mention that, “we’re not saying anyone is evil, here.” No, of course not. Thank goodness he cleared that up.

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