VMware bought SpringSource because of the cloud and PaaS angle
Yes, but we'll see. Cloud and PaaS are the two reasons that VMware and SpringSource have claimed as motivations for the acquisition. I couldn't say it better than RedMonk's Stephen O'Grady:
In time, yes, quite possibly. And there's little question that SpringSource offers VMware an intriguing opportunity to be what 10gen, Project Caroline, et al have to date failed to be: the EngineYard or Heroku for Java, permitting seamless deployment of Java applications to on or off premise cloud infrastructure. But this is, to me, a longer term revenue opportunity, as VMware's cloud pieces are still coming together and its hardware and datacenter capabilities are neglible relative to competition such as Amazon, IBM or Microsoft.
Additionally, whether or not VMware and/or SpringSource will acknowledge it, customers are already deploying Java applications to a dynamically provisioned and policy-based managed cloud. This isn't a two or three years from now capability. As we speak customers are using IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance with WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Virtual Enterprise. The point is not to discuss IBM products, but rather to highlight that the VMware and SpringSource future vision is already a reality, and it's a reality that is driving significant IBM WebSphere revenue around an on-premise cloud environment.
Lastly, since an application runtime environment is critical to a PaaS or cloud deployment, I'd go back to the fact that SpringSource's runtime environments, tc Server and dm Server, are starting from a standstill in an uphill battle for revenue share. While VMware works to establish tc Server and dm Server penetration, VMware will have to be careful not to alienate their application server partners -- the ones whose products are driving virtually all of the application server spending today. This level of coopetition is doable but not easy. But hey, VMware has 420 million reasons for doing difficult but necessary things.
VMware bought SpringSource because of Microsoft
Yes. Larry Dignan's excellent analysis of the acquisition highlighted some very interesting data from a financial analyst, Pritchard: