The fact that VMware's first ever product, VMware Workstation, was based on Linux has meant that the company has always been very Linux-friendly. In fact, many argue that VMware's re-invention of the virtualisation market -- it was started by IBM in the mid-1960s when the technology starred in Big Blue's 704 mainframe -- is a major factor in Linux' popularity right now. But for how much longer can this relationship last?
VMware's director of data centre products Patrick Lin says that the resurgence of virtualisation has meant that it's been possible for people easily to try out Linux without too much risk. Using the company's VMware Server product -- now free -- potential users can check out how their applications run with little performance penalty, as well as investigate possible clashes with other applications.