With word that it's getting dubbed "the new Google" by Stateside investors, VMware's share cost on the NYSE have leaped from a forecast of US$ 23 to about US$ 27, per yesterday's numbers. According to The Guardian, the firm has been labeled a potential competitor by Microsoft, and investors are digging in early to make the most out of its initial flotation. Intel took an advance on a 2.5 percent stake last month, with Cisco following suit for a small portion of the pie. What's all the fuss about? Virtualization, whose power the market is just getting wise to. Virtualization makes sensitive parts of a computer system "virtually" impenetrable by malware. It's able to accomplish this by separating the hardware from the software - a marriage that too often leads to trouble in virus-ville. Microsoft wasn't messing around when it called VMware a potential competitor. In an attempt to compete in the virtual arena, the Office giant promised users a much-hyped Viridian hypervisor, which was later castrated in May. This and other sluggish movements in the direction of virtualization by big labels have given VMware a major advantage. Founded in 1998, the firm was bought by EMC in 2004. It's among the few (and proud) that can boast all Fortune 100 companies are, in some way or another, its clients. It is expected to make over US$1 billion this year. To get personal with the offering, hit VMworld in San Francisco this September 11. Dubbed one of the most popular virtualization events on the globe, you'll be among the first to get a peek at VMware Server 2.0.