"Yes they can run on the bare metal."
Yes, however I can't help but think vmware's paul maritz is stretching the truth about eliminating the OS. By running on bare hardware, isn't vmware a kind of operating system itself?
It needs it's own hardware drivers*, provides it's own hardware abstractions, manages resources (cpu, interrupts, ram, disk, network, etc), enforces security policy, etc. These are all things an OS is expected to do. Instead of a win32 or linux syscall API, vmware has it's own.
Emulating hardware is slow, which is why vmware has "virtual" accelerated devices that don't even emulate real hardware, they have become a genuine software API. This is a good thing, since it increases performance, but it is looking and behaving more like an ordinary OS.
Actually I think it's pretty sly that they've been able to sell customers an OS without a UI, think of how many technical and political problems they avoid this way.
* a recent article discusses vmware's lack of bare medal support: