It’s a little amusing how few people know about VMware, the EMC (EMC) unit that’s going to go public some time this summer. I’ve tried very hard over the years not to write next-hot-IPO stories. That’s what the bankers want to see written, but articles like that don’t always help investors. I did write one back in 1998 about a young Internet company called eBay (EBAY). “Believe the hype,” was how I put it. Anyway, VMware is similar. Institutional technology investors already know all about VMware. Retail investors don’t. Because I think the deal — a 10% carve-out of VMware as an independent company, with EMC retaining the rest — will do well doesn’t mean you should buy at any price. Want to learn how to play it? Read my article about it in the new issue of Fortune here.

June 6 addendum:

Since posting this entry I’ve had two questions from readers that are worth adding right here. The first asked who the six investment bankers are on this deal, presumably so the reader can figure out where to buy shares. They are: Citi, JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. The second reader wanted to know if existing EMC shareholders will receive shares in VMware. The answer is no. This is a carve-out, meaning EMC is selling a 10% stake in VMware and retaining a 90% stake. Unless you buy VMware shares, the only investment you will have in VMware is an indirect one, through your investment in EMC.

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