I've been invited onto the beta of the next version of VMware Workstation. There's nothing much unusual about that. I have a licensed copy of it and have participated before. What's different this time is the version number.
VMware are (at present) calling this next version “VMware Workstation 2011”. (I don't think I'm breaking the EULA or anything by mentioning this.) This would, if they stick with it, represent a change from previous versions (4.x, 5x, 6.x and 7.x to name but a few). This will be a marketing tactic. I'm not about to try and second guess what it might be. I'm more interested in whether this be applied only to the “consumer” products (e.g. Workstation, Fusion, Player etc) or if future versions of the “enterprise” products will adopt a similar convention.
Imagine that your next datacenter upgrade is from vSphere 4.1 to vSphere 2011. Will it happen? I couldn't say for sure. VMware have more or less aligned their version numbers in the recent past. Most of the products are 4.1 or similar. Could this be in preparation for a mass change to version 2011?
On the other hand, there are many rumours that the next version of vSphere will be 5. The next version of SRM will 5 also according to many of the same rumours. Assuming that they're true, don't expect ESX 2011.