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Sun to become the newest Microsoft Windows OEM

Those who have been around the technology landscape long enough will recall that once Microsoft and Sun were bitter rivals with Sun playing the David to the Microsoft Goliath. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz is doing something former CEO Scott McNealy would never consider, expanding Sun’s partnership with Microsoft.

Yet as a true sign of the times, Microsoft announced today that it has expanded its strategic alliance with Sun with Sun becoming a Windows Server OEM.

“Today’s announcement is another example of Microsoft’s commitment to 64-bit computing,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. “The Sun hardware platform is an excellent foundation for Windows-based enterprise solutions such as Microsoft Virtual Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition. Our customers will have an additional choice of Windows Server OEM partners with Sun.”

Key points of the expanded Sun/Microsoft agreement include Sun's new offerings of Windows Server on its x64 hardware as well as providing additional utilities and software for systems running Windows Server. Sun says that Windows Server 2003 will be available on its Sun x64 servers within 90 days.

Virtualization will be possible with Solaris and Windows running on the same server. Solaris will run under Windows virtualization technology and Windows will also run as a guest in Sun’s virtualization software. Sun and Microsoft will also continue collaboration on IPTV in advance of the upcoming release of Microsoft Mediaroom. Sun and Microsoft will also be building an Interoperability Center on Microsoft’s Redmond campus, which will act as a working lab for Windows on Sun benchmarks and sales tools.

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By Master Kenobi on 9/13/2007 3:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
Windows server 2003 and soon to be 2008 are fantastic products with excellent reliability. A far cry from the old NT days. This was bound to happen eventually as Microsoft continues to grow as a serious contender in the server OS market. The OS is such a tiny cost in the server market where hardware commands the bulk of the purchase. Kudos to Microsoft for pushing forward.

RE: Eventuality
By Moishe on 9/13/2007 3:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, it was bound to happen. I see this as being good for Sun as well. Solaris has been a top notch server OS, but the years have seen Sun struggle quite a bit as Microsoft has grown and gained market share. Sun needs to change with the times to stay around.

RE: Eventuality
By TomZ on 9/13/2007 4:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
Makes me wonder about Solaris going forward - it seems like a deal like this would slightly accelerate Windows Server marketshare at Solaris' expense. I suppose Sun factored this into their calculation - I wonder if the strategy is to give up on Solaris in the long-term? IIRC Sun open-sourced Solaris pretty recently - this probably plays into that strategy. It seems like Sun is maybe relegating its offerings in the server space to hardware and services.

RE: Eventuality
By darkpaw on 9/13/2007 5:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
I believe Solaris will still exist and do OK, but mostly for Sun's custom non x64 processors. I think the biggest issue is a general lack of knowledge on Solaris, there just are not that many people available to support it. If the servers are going to be using cheaper x64 processors instead of SPARC derived processors, might as well go with an OS that is easier to support (either Windows, Linux, or whatever your house happens to specialize in).

RE: Eventuality
By hiscross on 9/13/07, Rating: 0
RE: Eventuality
By honeg on 9/15/2007 2:54:52 AM , Rating: 3
If you're talking about medium to large installations, Solaris beats Windows (by far) and Linux (by a decent margin). dtrace and ZFS alone make it worth the switch. I wouldn't want to run Solaris as a desktop OS, but when what matters is stability, performance and diagnosability, Solaris shines. Solaris has a better threading model than either linux or windows, so as individual boxes get more cores, it'll look better and better.

Sun make their money from hardware and services. The OS is important, but not crucial to that. They've ben selling Linux for years. Their main fault, IMHO, is that they make too much money from their big customers, so don't have the mindset that smaller customers are worth investing in.

Sun are renowned for their innovation and quality (go take a look in a colo and the oldest machines are more likely to be Sun boxes than anything else - they run forever), not their scale. I'd never put Windows on a production machine, but lots of people do, and if they spend their money at Sun to do that, then more power to them.

RE: Eventuality
By iFX on 9/17/2007 11:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
Windows - GASP.

I work in IT for a fortune 500 company pushing one billion in revenue annually, and most of our production systems are on some variation of Windows 2003 server. We cleared 196 MILLION dollars in July of this year and in over 20 year. Silly Windows, such a crappy product - it's not doing ANYTHING for us apparently.

RE: Eventuality
By wrekd on 9/13/2007 7:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that Windows Server 2003 and all its flavors (R2, Datacenter, and Enterprise) are quite fairly priced. However; there is a little more to servers than just the system software…like application software. Exchange and Microsoft SQL are some not so cheap applications. Let’s not forget about virtualization software, clustering software, backup/restore software, CALs, and support.

Go ahead a price SQL with 25 CALs.

RE: Eventuality
By Reflex on 9/13/2007 9:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Actually compared to the competition they are quite cheap. Its always amazed me that Oracle hasn't gone to the government to complain about both Microsoft and IBM severely undercutting their DB pricing. Go price out SQL with 25 CAL's, then compare it to Oracle. Exchange is also competitively priced compared to the competition, especially when one considers its featureset.

RE: Eventuality
By wrekd on 9/14/2007 2:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I know about Oracle. I know about EMC Control Center, SMARTS and BMC Remedy too. If you want to see a quick quarter million vaporize, purchase BMC Remedy. If you want to test, you can expect to give up another developer’s annual salary for the privilege of a non production license.

RE: Eventuality
By Master Kenobi on 9/14/2007 10:14:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, we use that fraggin BMC Remedy here, has some serious stability issues. Maybe someday we will learn but not today, we just love blowing money on junk like BMC Remedy.

RE: Eventuality
By bespoke on 9/14/2007 1:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
Agent Gates: You hear that Mr. McNealy?... That is the sound of inevitability... It is the sound of your death... Goodbye, Mr. McNealy...

By TimberJon on 9/13/2007 4:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Know thy role!

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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