VMWare announced a $420M acquisition of SpringSource today. Given that SpringSource revenues are estimated to be around $20M, this acquisition was a spectacular validation that cloud computing is rearranging the development landscape.
SpringSource developed the Spring open source Java application platform. Over the last year, SpringSource also acquired the Tomcat web server and Hyperic management tools, giving them a complete platform to build, run and manage Java applications.
SpringSource shares WaveMaker's vision that the future of cloud computing belongs to open platform as a service products. Many cloud solutions today are completely proprietary, locking developers into a single vendor.
In contrast, SpringSource and WaveMaker both promote an Open Platform as a Service vision. By providing an open platform for both cloud and data center hosted applications, SpringSource and WaveMaker give developers flexibility to build and deploy applications wherever they want.
With this acquisition, VMWare will be able to optimizes the services it provides based on a better understanding of how the applications themselves are built. With cloud computing, the age of generic virtualization is coming to an end. Hosting providers who can optimize their services based on application-specific requirements will have an advantage over "application-blind" hosting providers.
As cloud computing disrupts the way applications are deployed, it is also disrupting the way applications are developed. At WaveMaker, we believe the next big step is for the development tool themselves to move into the cloud, making it possible to build and deploy applications completely from a browser.
Matt Assay's analysis of the VMWare acquisition on CNET
Rod Johnson's blog post on the VMWare acquisition of SpringSource