1. Please slow down a bit. Produce a quality bug-free product and not try to rush out new versions, features and functionality until they are ready. Stop with the experimental features and only put them in the finished product unless they are ready and you are going to fully support them. I know it’s almost impossible to produce 100% bug-free code, especially as your product code grows larger and larger in size, but please catch the major ones that can cause outages for your customers. If you can’t slow down, at least hire more QA personnel and do more public Betas so your customers can help you with this. You can’t afford another mishap like Microsoft is currently experiencing with their Zune music players.
2. On the release of VI4 (or vSphere as you now call it): This should be an exciting upgrade and further distance you from your competitors, but please don’t release it before it’s fully done, polished and tested. I can wait an extra month or two if necessary.
3. Please, no more product name changes. Enough is enough with the name changes! You’re just confusing your customers and complicating things. Instead, get your marketing department to do more to attract new customers, keep your current ones and fight all the HyperV vs. ESX misinformation that Microsoft releases. Also please leave ESX named ESX, I know your marketing department is probably itching to change it so something like vHypervisor but resist and leave it as ESX. (For those who don’t know ESX stands for Elastic Sky X which was the name used in the development of the original version.)
4. More competitive pricing. You have lots of competition now and the hypervisor is becoming commoditized. Giving away ESXi for free was a good start. Why not give ESX away for free also and sell all the advanced features as add-ons? You also have plenty of automation and management products that you can sell to complement it. Also, please reduce the price of Workstation. It’s too expensive for many. You’d probably sell a lot more if you reduced the price so it was close to the price of Fusion.
5. On VMworld presentations: Please go back to releasing these to non-attendees after the show ends as you did in previous years. Not everyone can afford to go to it and the information in the sessions would be valuable to both your current and potential customers. It’s to your benefit to educate your customers and provide as much information to them as possible. At the very least, allow people to purchase a subscription to the sessions so they can access them right away after the show ends.
6. Relax the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification requirements. I shouldn’t have to take a class to become a VCP, if I have the knowledge and experience to pass the VCP exam that should be enough. Many qualified people can’t afford to take a class just so they can take the test.
Well VMware, I hope 2009 is a very good year for you, I look forward to the release of vSphere and any other great things that you will deliver to us in the upcoming year.
A VMware aficionado