In hindsight, there were good reasons for VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger to be a bit nervous at VMworld in San Francisco last summer.

He, EMC CEO Joe Tucci and Dell CEO Michael Dell had already been talking about the potential Dell /EMC acquisition for three months. That’s what Gelsinger told reporters at VMworld in Barcelona this week.

The virtualization giant’s European Conference is usually a little more subdued than its US counterpart.

And the buzz at VMworld in San Francisco last month was all about a rumor that VMware would swallow EMC in what had been characterized by some analysts as a catastrophic merger.

This year, the talk in Barcelona is about Dell’s acquisition of EMC. EMC owns more than 80 percent of VMware.

Assuaging the Crowd in Barcelona

Both Gelsinger and his boss-to-be, Michael Dell, made moves to quiet the angst of VMware employees and customers.

Yesterday Dell appeared via video during the Day One conference keynote, apologizing to the crowd that he was unable to attend personally (we guess he was kind of busy earlier this week) and assuring them the Dell/EMC arrangement would create unprecedented opportunities in areas such as Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDC).

“VMware leads the way for cloud in the future, and we look forward to working with them in the future,” he said.

No one we spoke to was willing to go on record that they felt more secure. Many feel felt that their jobs might be eliminated given that Dell has its own powerful sales and engineering teams.

Gelsinger, on day two of the conference, claimed VMware was destined to be the “crown jewel” of Dell.

VMware Acquires Boxer

VMware’s End User Computing Group led by Sanjay Poonen, hasn’t wasted a second post-acquisition.

This morning the Noah Wasmer, the chief technology officer of the group, announced the company’s plans to acquire Boxer, a privately held company that offers a comprehensive and secure personal information management (PIM) solution for mobile devices to businesses and consumers.

Boxer will add personal information services (PIM) to VMware’s AirWatch suite which will go a long way toward Poonen’s vision for the company’s mobility management product line. He says that his company is building “the remote control for the Enterprise”.

Though that vision includes both Apple and Android phones, for now, they’re going after the Blackberry crowd, big time. Unlike some technology companies whose modus operandi is to build great product and let the crowds come, VMware and EMC have a tendency to go directly after the competition, even naming them.

BlackBerry acquired Good Technology right before Labor Day, just as the VMworld crowd was leaving San Francisco.

How will mega-executive Dell judge such behavior? He’ll probably pat Poonen on the back for already marching to the beat of Dell’s vision to “be bold”