The Virtualization Room

Oct 29 2008   10:09AM GMT

Market share: So what?

Eric Siebert Eric Siebert Profile: Eric Siebert

A recent report from IDC claims that Microsoft’s market share in the virtualization arena grew drastically in the second fiscal quarter of 2008 because of the release of Hyper-V. While the accuracy of the report is questionable, as pointed out by one blogger, it does beg the question: Do customers really care about market share?

One common misconception is that market share makes one product better than another. Although typically the product with the greatest market share is the best product, this isn’t always the case. Just because a product is popular doesn’t mean it’s better than its competitors (take Internet Explorer versus Firefox or Opera as an example). In this specific case, however, VMware does have the better and more popular product. The recent market share increase by Microsoft is due in great part to the excitement generated by Hyper-V’s recent release rather than it being better than VMware ESX.

According to a recent Gartner report, VMware has an 89% market share and is the clear leader in the management/automation, maturity/stability, security and ISV support categories. The one area where it gets low marks is price, which in my opinion is not a big deal because if you look at value instead of price VMware would also get high marks.

Purchasing one product over another simply because of market share is not smart shopping. Someone looking to virtualize should carefully consider all of the available products before choosing one. This includes evaluating them, gathering RFPs, reading product reviews and talking to others who are using the product before finally making an informed decision on which product is best.

Would you buy a particular car brand simply because it was the most popular? Probably not. You would look at features, price, reviews, take a test drive and do whatever else you can to find more information before choosing the car that works best for you.

So is market share important to you and would it influence your decision to choose a virtualization product? Let us know in the comments below.

3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Eric Siebert
    When you're measuring benchmarks and metrics from something like virtualization, you've got to look at something else. Hypervisor instances don't matter so much as the number of hosted machines. I'd like to see those numbers
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  • Eric Siebert
    Share market value depends upon the share holders. Any time they can buy and sold the shares. We have to be careful about our share values that will help you to perform better business.
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  • Eric Siebert
    Does marketshare matter? It depends. Yes, if 1) there are a lot of dependencies (compatibility issues) in the hardware/software stack now and/or in the future. Upgrades count. 2) There are a lot of costs associated with switching to a different option, if things don't go well. 3) The long term viability of the platform, including upgrades and bug fixes. 4) Support requires specialized knowledge...who is going to support it, if the current gurus leave? Can you hire a consultant, get training or buy books? 6) Does it introduce change to the end-users? Change is a very bad thing, if you want to keep costs down and productivity up within a mature organization/process/market. The true costs are almost never fully recognized. Nor is it something bloggers and geek-zealots care about.
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