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Virtual Doublespeak

5:45 PM -- While many think journalism figures highly among the dark arts, I'd like to point you in the direction of IT marketers who can be shiftier with language than the most expensive defense lawyer.

Several years ago in the early days of the Sonet market, a Nortel exec explained the vendor's relative lack of products with a marvelous bit of doublespeak, noting "We don't want to overhang the market."

Translation: "Holy crap! Our competitors are months ahead of us on this one."

VMware's Bryan Byun gave the idea of para-virtualization a similar back-of-the-hand today. (See VMware's Virtual Appetizer.) Para-virtualization, recall, tweaks the existing OS on the server to support virtualization, and is already being used or offered by Xen and Virtual Iron Software. According to Byun, demand for para-virtualization "isn't stable."

I'm not actually even sure what that means. But I've tracked virtualization long enough to know that a lack of stability -- market overhang, if you will -- isn't about to stop a vendor hellbent on pushing a product.

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