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After years of pushing its own Solaris operating system (OS), Sun Microsystems on Wednesday said it had signed a strategic agreement with Microsoft Corp. and will pre-install Windows OS as well as other software on its machines going forward. The move once again demonstrates that Sun wants to offer mainstream servers with industry-standard components instead of pushing its proprietary solutions.

Under the new agreement, Sun will offer Windows Server on its x86-64 hardware and will provide additional utilities and value-added software offerings to server systems carrying Windows Server. Windows Server 2003 will be available on Sun x64 systems within 90 days. Besides, Sun and Microsoft will work together to ensure that Solaris runs well as a guest on Microsoft virtualization technologies and that Windows Server runs well as a guest on Sun’s virtualization technologies. In addition, Microsoft and Sun will continue to work together to test and validate the Windows platform on Sun’s x86-64 server and storage products systems for scale-up enterprise computing.

For years Sun has been pushing its own Solaris operating system or Linux OS with its servers, however, a lot of customers nowadays demand to have Windows Server because of low cost of ownership and it is natural for Sun to offer solutions to those users as well.

“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. Customers can now take advantage of the virtualization benefits of Windows and Solaris on Sun’s energy efficient x64 systems,” said John Fowler, executive vice president, systems group, Sun Microsystems. “Microsoft’s recognition of our x64 systems and storage systems is a testament to the superior system design at the heart of our product portfolio.”

Sun and Microsoft will also continue to collaborate to advance the worldwide deployment of the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform on Sun servers and storage systems.

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