If it pays to know your enemy, Paul Maritz is sitting pretty. As the boss of VMware, a Californian company that has risen quickly to become the world’s fourth most valuable software concern, he finds himself in a position that has made many other software executives squirm over the years: slap in Microsoft’s line of fire. Read more

Google announced a web application store, a video standard and a cloud services initiative in the opening keynote of its developer conference on Wednesday – moves that rivals are likely to view as a threatening flexing of its web muscles.

The new Chrome web store will rival Microsoft programs and Intel’s AppUp store and provide tablet makers with a useful weapon to fight Apple’s iPad and iTunes. Its WebM video standard presents a long-term threat to Adobe’s Flash technology and could irk Apple, which favours the H.264 standard. Its cloud services collaboration with VMware and its associated Google App Engine for Business will be studied closely by Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and others involved in cloud computing. Read more