Enterprise Linux Log

Sep 13 2007   9:08AM GMT

Sun to sell Microsoft Windows Server boxes … ?!


What is going on in the land of Sun Microsystems today?

In a rather stunning bit of news, Microsoft and Sun announced at a press conference that Sun has signed up to become a Windows Server Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), selling Sun x64-based servers that come bundled with Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Sun has released a chart showing which hardware will be ready for the Windows operating system, and the company is expected to ship the first bundled systems within 90 days.


“Sun is now a single source for today’s leading operating systems—Solaris and Windows—on the industry’s most innovative x64 systems and storage products,” said John Fowler, executive vice president at Sun, in a statement. Oh, and don’t forget that they sell Linux too, to the tune of roughly 60% on all the Niagara servers that go out the door (IDC).

Uh, ok? Microsoft seems to benefit more from this deal than Sun does, which ars takes note of:

“The move has all sorts of upsides for Microsoft, which gains a solid hardware partner for their high-end enterprise technologies such as SQL Server and Mediaroom. It is also a boost for Windows Server, which has lately made some small but hard-fought gains in the battle for server market share. The upside for Sun, on the other hand, is somewhat less obvious. Sure, it will get to sell more hardware, but these days the competition and falling profit margins on x86 kit makes this less of a win than it used to be.

For more, head over to my colleague Mark Fontecchio’s post on this over at the SearchDataCenter.com blog. He covers Sun a lot deeper than we do at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, so hopefully he has it all figured out.

Interesting side note: I had the pleasure of attending James Gosling’s Sun Tech Days keynote yesterday. The man is an IT/technology rockstar. He also discussed how open sourcing Java (and by correlation Solaris) is actually making Sun revenue, not taking it away. Some might say that’s “fuzzy math” but Gosling had a formula — a formula! — via his presentation that seemed to make sense. Plus, he was throwing free t-shirts into the audience. Did I say rockstar yet?!

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