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SAN FRANCISCO: Virtualization takes center stage this week as VMware, the reigning champion, marshals its forces at VMworld. However, while the company may be on top of the virtualization heap, competitors like Microsoft and Citrix are marshaling their forces for a shot at the crown.

VMware still carries advanced management options for virtualization such as capacity planning, life cycle management and stage management that remain missing in the new Citrix arsenal, said Andi Mann, vice president of research at Enterprise Management Associates. "VMware still leads and has a lot of better capabilities in the data center, especially but this is a solid attack on many fronts for both Citrix and Microsoft."

For its latest quarter, VMware, 84 percent owned by EMC, reported revenue of $456 million, flat from 2Q08, and non-GAAP operating income was $96 million, down 14 percent from a year ago. License revenues were $228 million, a decline of 20 percent, but services revenues, which include software maintenance and professional services, were $228 million, an increase of 32 percent. VMware also reported cash and cash equivalents of $2.3 billion and total deferred revenues were $934 million as of June 30.

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