Those VMWare guys are geniuses. They are distributing a version of VMWare that can run, but not create, new virtual machines. It’s called the VMWare Player. For my little piece of the world it means my sales organization does not need the full VMWare Workstation product to use my demo virtual machines. And, if the licensing issues for the software installed on the image can be worked out, I can more easily share my images with my clients for proofs-of-concept, demonstrations, trials, etc.
From a much broader perspective it means that VMWare just became a lot more accessible to a lot more people. I predict we’re about to see an explosion of people making their products available ready-to-go VMWare images. There are already some available on the VMWare Technology Network but they are from major players. I’ll bet we’ll see a bunch of LAMP images springing up all over the place as well as those showcasing other open source “platforms”.
What if the VMWare Player becomes as ubiquitous as Acrobat Reader or Flash? I don’t see my parents getting one any time soon but for the technical set, it’s huge.
Of course the problem in all of this is the amount of space a virtual machine image takes. It takes a long time to move and a lot of hard disk to store. When your parent company, EMC, is in to storage in a big way, that last part is probably not a big concern of theirs.
Needless to say, I am excited. Way to go, VMWare!