* VMware to unveil next-generation software April 21
* Key partners include Intel, Cisco Systems
BOSTON, April 14 VMware Inc (VMW.N), the world's top maker of virtualization software, is getting ready to unveil its biggest upgrade to its main product line in three years in a move that could invigorate slowing sales.
The subsidiary of EMC Corp (EMC.N) plans to demonstrate its next-generation technology on April 21, according to an invitation sent to Reuters late on Monday.
Key partners include No. 1 chipmaker Intel Corp and Cisco Systems, the biggest maker of networking equipment.
The invitation did not say much about the product, except that it would include "cloud computing" features, which means it will make it easier for users across large corporations to share resources in central data centers.
"It's an important product. The question is what new features it brings, if any," said Jefferies & Co analyst Katherine Egbert. "Does it just bring enhancements or does it bring here-to-fore unknown features that leapfrog past competitors?"
The product is the fourth major release of VMware's virtualization software since the Palo Alto, California-based company was founded 11 years ago.
Virtualization software boosts the efficiency of computer hardware by allowing one server to perform the work of multiple machines. Each successive generation of VMware's software has added bells and whistles that make it easier for corporations to manage those machines in increasingly complex data centers.
VMware shares were down 9 cents at $31.44 after trading as low as 30.44 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Maureen Bavdek)