As I am currently working on a massive commercial implementation of Citrix, and being somewhat aware of their market penetration and love for their Xen hypervisor I would have to disagree with your conclusions. I do think that you have the general sentiment correct, that Hypervisors are becoming the new centralization point for the Data Center, but I think you paint a partial picture.
Sun Virtual-Box, MS Hyper-V and of course Xen and others will not just take this lying down as you seem to imply. These companies have already seen, or will see the writing on the wall.
Does VM have a leg up over the competition? Sure it does now, but I think it is naive to think that all will necessarily stay that way.
VMware has a great collection of tools allow you to centralize your management. They flaws with you comparing them to M$, and assuming a coming VMware dominance is:
1.) The key word is ALLOW, with M$ for the most part if you wanted your documents universally able to be read you NEEDED to have M$ office. This monopoly factor that helped M$ so much does not exist for VMware. If they raise prices, or just by nature of being dominant people will migrate to other options or create them. People just don't NEED to have VMware.
2.) Their product is not unique: Citirx and Sun Thin clients also can virtualize almost ANY OS or application out there .
3.) Storage vendors will either be able to continue making money of their proprietary solutions, or if forced will move to adopting more general storage open standards. If this is the case, Xen, Virtual Box and others will have the same available access to these API connections that VMware does.
4.) As some of these programs like Xen are open source, I would argue that companies like Dell, IBM, Redhat, are likely to adopt the code and modify it for their own releases.
5.)Your argument ignores more than 1/2 of the Data Center-Enterprise market.
VMware and virtualization mainly deal with two major sections, Servers (applications and DB) and Storage. The network is typically a completely different set of management tools. In most corporations I have worked with, these are sectioned into entire different departments of people, making interoperability less important. CiscoWorks, Nagio, Sitescope, HP OpenView, and others have been working for decades to create a single interface in which to just manage your networking elements. Further there are a ton of new devices (Packet Shapers, Load Balancers etc from compaines like SilverPeak and BigIP) that don't as easily fit into these other companies management systems. BlueCat runs the best IPAM (IP address management) software currently and I don't believe you can manage the boxes from anything other than their management console. And then there is environmental and other monitoring. Not to mention all the current, and future security devices.
5.) MIBS - Most servers, storage and networking devices do have universally available MIBS for SNMP reporting - I really see this is a much more ubiquitous tool in the DataCenter, and like Ethernet, TCP/IP and other widely used protocols, it is not owned by any one company.
You mention the exceptions in your article but don't really spell out the celestial bodies that are already in VMware's orbit. Which companies do you consider to have already drunk the Kool-Aid so to speak?
Oh and as I understand it, Virtual box is capable of using VMware machine images, if VM machines remain on a standard open format, not only is security a issue, but it will also be extremely easy for companies to migrate their entire operations from one Hypervisor to another competing one (which is how a free market should really work anyways :-)
Be EXTREMELY careful as a journalist of trying to predict the future. There is an article every week claiming that someone has cornered the market, or that X is now dead. Almost without fail they always turn out to not quite work out that way. Despite the old adage, people do still make buggy whips (even if they are serving a different market than horses). The one thing that has been proven time and time again, is that people will innovate and they will continue to compete. And no matter how great or dominant a company gets, eventually it gets fat and complacent.
Hey, but other than that being wrong, great article! No really, I do think you had some good points and shed light on a certainly interesting development in the general Data Center world.
keep it up!