VMware starts road show ahead of planned IPO

BOSTON Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:21pm EDT

BOSTON (Reuters) - VMware executives are holding meetings with investors this week as parent EMC Corp. (EMC.N) prepares to take the business software maker public in a highly anticipated initial offering, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

VMware could be the hottest IPO of the year, according to analysts. Its revenues are growing at an annual rate of about 100 percent, and businesses have just started to develop a taste for virtualization software.

Companies use VMware's software to help manage data centers. It allows them to run a single server computer as if it were multiple machines, using a technology known as virtualization.

The IPO road show, which began on Monday, is scheduled to last for approximately two weeks, said VMware spokesman Greg Eden.

He declined to say when the IPO will close, though EMC Corp.'s chief financial officer said last week that he expects it to happen before the end of August.

Companies can save money using the software because they're able to reduce the number of computers they need to run their business.

The "virtual" machines that they build with VMware programs can be moved quickly from one server to another, in some cases traveling across computer networks to data centers around the world.

Analysts said VMware is several years ahead of its three key rivals -- Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O) and two privately held start-ups, Virtual Iron and XenSource Inc.

VMware recently announced that Intel Corp. (INTC.O) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO.O), the top makers of computer chips and networking gear, respectively, plan to invest in the software maker through private placements.

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