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VMware wins deal with Microsoft

The maker of software that lets computers run several operating systems simultaneously says Microsoft is using its application to simplify product demos.

VMware, a maker of software that lets Intel computers run several operating systems simultaneously, will announce a major new customer Monday: Microsoft.

VMware CEO Diane Greene said Microsoft has started distributing her company's software to some of its salespeople, who can use it to simplify software demonstrations that normally require the use of several computers. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

About 6,000 Microsoft salespeople have been given DVDs that include demonstrations of Microsoft's .Net software, which at its core involves interactions between desktop software and servers, said Darryl Ramm, director of advanced technology and manager of the Microsoft relationship. For example, one demo lets Microsoft Word use XML to tap into .Net servers, he said. Using VMware, salespeople can run such a demo on a single laptop.

VMware sells versions of its software for workstations and servers and lets a Linux or Windows system run several versions of either operating system or of several other OSes.

The workstation version lets people perform tasks such as providing technical support for software that must run on different versions of Windows or developing software that uses desktop and server versions of Windows. The server version of VMware lets several servers run on the same machine, useful for tasks such as hosting several Web sites on a single server.

VMware on Tuesday released a beta version of its 3.0 product, which will include support for Windows XP, DVD and CD-RW players, and the universal serial bus connection. It also imposes less of a performance penalty than the previous version.

VMware is working with the National Security Agency to adapt its software for use in protecting information, and Dell Computer and Veritas invested in VMware in 2000.

The Halliburton oil company is using the server product to streamline the setting up of servers that customers can use to tap into oil-well data, Ramm said. The technique is useful because often the customers need the server for only a day or so.