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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