It's not a secret that VMW has a great product, I don't even think anyone disputes that. We dispute the valuation of this stock, particularly relative to it's parent company EMC.
The problem comparing it to Google is the TAM. Billions of people need to access information multiple times per day and they make money off the volume of ad clicks. Tens of thousands of people buy servers that need virtualization. The market just isn't that big despite the $10B Gartner claimed by 2009. I've been told they are better historians than fortune tellers.
I also find it interesting that you claim the world needs a fraction of it's current servers by using VMW. Would you then short INTC, who holds a stake in VMW and whose profit is mostly derived from high-margin server sales? I haven't heard any industry analysts write about a negative shock to server demand.
Server & CPU producers, will not be hurt by VMW - actually they will sell more, since next generation processors will have vmware software embbeded w/in the hardware - ie: CPU.
Of course they are affraid, thai is why they (CSCO, INTC, EMC) invest in VMW, to stay in the picture and make neccessary adjustment that will not hurt sales.
Just imagine you actually do not need to purchase a Cisco switch, you can virtualize it (A good switch cost ~2K) VMW ofeers as many vSwitches as you need; Same goes for memory & many appliances (NAT routers, Firewalls, etc.)
"I also find it interesting that you claim the world needs a fraction of it's current servers..." - I'll explain, most servers do not utilize more than 10-15% of their power (along the day - 24 Hours). VMWare actually increase utilization at least 4X more + plus protecting the Environment by using less resources.
One last thing, it is great to have a discussion like this with people like yourself.
Much has been noted about the IT market, but this is not the only market where virtualization plays well. And while not saturated (or saturated as some posters have stated). There are other markets.
Development organizations for one are large market for virtualization. These are the companies or departments who develop sofware or applications as a product / service. They (we, I'm in development) rely on virtualization to improve our development costs and reduce development time.
We use virtualization for the development and testing of software in environments with minimal hardware or setup costs. We create and test on virtual networks. Our clients and servers can quickly be configured, and reconfigured, and/or saved and restored to known states.
Entire environments are saved and replicated so other can see and use "our" environment, reducing or eliminating comments such as "well it worked on my system" or "unless you can replicate it, we won't fix it."
We've also decentralized the development environment by using virtualization. This allows developers to access their development environment from any location and be 100 % productive. Other tools, like remote desktop or VNC are far too limiting.
So my money is on VMW. While their competition is trying to virtualize an environment, VMW is beyond that and virtualizaing the way I work.