Sun to pre-install Windows on its servers

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Redmond (WA) – Sun is continues to march deeper into the x86 server segment: The company broke down yet another old wall and announced that it has become a Windows Server OEM.

Sun is taking the x86 server market increasingly seriously. The segment already brings in $1 billion in sales annually for the company. CEO Jonathan Schwartz recently said that the company has advanced from a #999 rank to #5 in global x86 server sales within a short period of time; while he has #4 already in sight, #3 - translating into quarterly sales of $1 billion - will be "a tough one", in his opinion.

Today's announcement is in line with Schwartz' strategy to expand the x86 business. Following the adoption of Intel processors earlier this year, the company will be offering Windows Server 2003 on its x86-architecture based x64 server systems, which currently include the Blade 6000 and 8000, the Fire X2200 M2, the X4000 series and V40z systems. Previously, Sun acknowledged that its x64 servers were compatible with Windows, but the company did not provide systems with Windows pre-installed.

As part of the agreement, Microsoft said that it will work with Sun 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." The two companies also said that they will build an "Interoperability Center" on Microsoft's Redmond campus, which will act as a "working lab" for Windows on Sun benchmarks and sales tools, and support customers running proofs-of-concept for projects focused on Windows on Sun x64 systems.

There is also an IPTV partnership to expand teh reach of Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV platform through Sun.  

Windows Server 2003 is expected to be available on Sun servers within 90 days.