What's in a Name? For Parallels, Maybe an IPO!

SWSoft just wasn’t the right name for the Herndon, Va.-based startup responsible for making Parallels virtualization software. The product name itself was a lot cooler, which may explain why that’s what the company just renamed itself as. By doing so, it is tipping its hat to Wall Street’s current obsession with anything virtualization. Virtualization is one word that encapsulates every hot trend on Wall Street — server consolidation, energy optimization, clean tech and web infrastructure.

New products expected in 2008 to help deliver on the company vision include version 4.0 of the company’s Virtuozzo container-based virtualization software, a server-based hypervisor later in 2008, and major updates to Parallels Desktop and Parallels Workstation. SWsoft has more than doubled revenues every year for the past 8 years. The combined SWsoft team now includes 900 people worldwide – a 50 percent increase over the last year. In addition to organic growth, the company has made three acquisitions in recent months and is actively pursuing additional targets that will support and extend its corporate and product strategy.

This press release reflects what the company might be contemplating — tapping the public markets. If I were a betting man (not that I am), I would bet that Parallels will be looking to tap the public markets before the end of 2008. VMWare (VMW) went public earlier this year and now carries a market capitalization of around $37 billion. The market apparently needs another virtualization play.

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