VMware apologises for update error

VMware's chief executive has apologised for a recent update which left many enterprises with crippled servers.

"I want to apologise for the disruption and difficulty this issue may have caused to our customers and our partners," said VMware's new chief executive Paul Maritz, writing in an open letter on the company's website.

The problem first surfaced yesterday, when users found they where unable to power up their virtual servers after updating to the latest software. Instead they were greeted with an error message claiming their virtualisation license had expired on 12 August.

It is common for software companies to leave these "time bombs" in place on beta code, in order to force users to upgrade to the full version upon release, however, it's not so common to leave the code in place when the full product is released, something Maritz acknowledged.

" ... am sure you're wondering how this could happen. We failed in two areas. Not disabling the code in the final release of Update 2 and not catching it in our quality assurance process.

"We are doing everything in our power to make sure this doesn't happen again. VMware prides itself on the quality and reliability of our products, and this incident has prompted a thorough self-examination of how we create and deliver products to our customers."

Last month, Maritz replaced founder Diane Greene as chief executive, and shortly thereafter made the firm's hypervisor free.