IBM tried to slow and divert the cloud-computing market a couple of years ago as well, according to James Staten, virtualization and cloud analyst at Forrester.
The Cloud Manifesto published by an IBM-dominated group of vendors in 2009 was less an effort to focus development of cloud computing than an attempt to distract developers into discussions of what it was supposed to be for long enough for IBM to take the lead away from vendors that had already outrun it in the market for virtualization and weren't slowing down in the race for cloud.
IBM "got laughed out of the market" for that one, Staten said.
Most likely no one will laugh at IBM for backing such a universally well known and appreciated approach to virtualization as KVM on CentOS and Suse, of course. Most will probably just stand quietly and envy it for being able to associate itself so closely with the sexy celebrity kernel-level virtual-machine implementation of the moment.
And the OVA will set a new standard for openness and effective integration of virtualization technologies, not to mention making sure there was at least one hypervisor consistently available from reliable, mainline old-school vendors for x86 systems – not like fly-by-night versions like Xen, XenServer, Hyper-V, OracleVM, vSphere, VLX, Trango, Sun VirtualBox, Hitachi Virtage, Microsoft Virtual Server, Parallels...
Well, I think there are probably a couple more as well. Not from IBM, though (except a few of them).
Thankfully, by signing on with another virtualization standards organization, IBM and its partners in this round of Virtual Follies have cleared up the picture quite a lot.