Sun Just Wants To Get Along

With its days of getting into verbal shoving matches with its archrivals in the rear-view mirror, Sun Microsystems now appears to be a company that would rather shake hands with its competitors -- even with once-bitter rival Microsoft.

In yet another noteworthy win for the Wintel Duopoly, Sun recently deepened its alliance with Redmond, signing a deal that will see the company build x64-based servers with Windows Server 2003 tightly bundled in. No longer will Sun users have to separately purchase and install the server-based operating system on their own.

The deal extends Microsoft's reach even further into the rather profitable server world because it now has direct access to Sun's users. According to figures from IDC, Sun remains the planet's third-largest supplier of servers with a 13 percent share of the worldwide market, behind IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Hardly chump change.

"This latest collaboration [between Sun and Microsoft] reflects the demands of the company's joint customers, the increasing pragmatism of the vendor's respective leadership teams, and the growing maturity of the IT marketplace," said Dwight Davis, vice president of Ovum Summit. "With Sun noting that 100 percent of its Solaris customers use Windows, it only makes sense for the two vendors to ramp up their cooperation on some fronts, even as they continue to battle one another across a wide range of products and markets."

The announcement also helps the companies nudge their respective virtualization strategies along. They each pledged to ensure their operating systems would work and play well with the other's key virtualization technologies. This could prove to be yet another important boost for Microsoft as it tries to climb higher in the data center, where an increasing number of IT shops are looking at consolidating older servers to simplify operations and reduce energy costs.

Posted by Ed Scannell on September 13, 2007


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