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SUN lança linha x86 com Windows

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Sun Opens a Door, Sells Windows

As CEO Schwartz moves further away from former CEO McNealy's stance on Microsoft, the two companies announce an expanded partnership.

It can now be stated plainly: Sun Microsystems (JAVA) has officially lost its old-time religion. Thanks to an expansion of its three-year-old alliance with one-time nemesis Microsoft (MSFT), Sun will now resell and install Windows on its x86-based servers. In other words, the company that was famous for its scrappy David vs. Goliath war with the forces of Wintel will sell servers built around Intel chips and Windows software. That's a long way from the days when former Sun Chief Executive Scott McNealy proclaimed: "It's mankind against Microsoft."

But that doesn't mean the company has become agnostic. Rather, the Sept. 12 move was the ultimate expression of Sun's new religion—one that in some ways is just as risky. If Sun was once defined largely by who its rivals were, it's now partnering with many of them in an effort to ensure as many customers as possible have the option of buying its technologies.

The new Microsoft deal follows alliances with IBM (IBM) and Intel (INTC), which Sun is trusting to resell its Solaris server software for customers who want it. It's another aspect of Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz's plan to drive adoption of Sun technologies as broadly as possible. The linchpin of the scheme: The 2005 plan to give away the battle-tested Solaris, Sun's crown jewel, for free. As a result of these efforts, "We can do business with 100% of the marketplace now. That's not something we could have said a few years ago," Schwartz told BusinessWeek in a recent interview.

Expanded Alliance, Not Sales

By itself, the expanded alliance with Microsoft is no huge leap from the landmark deal the companies struck in 2004. Since then, the companies have quietly collaborated on a number of fronts—such as creating ways for Web services built on Microsoft's .Net Framework to work with those built around Sun's Java technology. Also, Sun has let customers run Windows on its servers that use x86 chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). While Windows still won't run on Sun servers built on SPARC chips—the source of most of Sun's sales—Sun will now preinstall Windows Server 2003 itself. The current deal does not give Sun rights to resell Microsoft's upcoming version of the software, Windows Server 2008, but sources say that such an agreement is likely in the future.

Very likely, none of this will amount to much in new sales for Microsoft. After all, every corporate technology buyer already uses Windows and knows how to buy Wintel machines from Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and others. But executives from Sun and Microsoft say the new deal will let them more effectively serve the many customers that use both Solaris and Windows—typically with Solaris running the huge databases and complex programs that undergird corporate IT and e-commerce operations and Windows for less mission-critical jobs.

The Pros and Cons of Interoperability

In particular, the companies say they'll focus on customers who are trying to take advantage of virtualization technology, which lets companies boost the utilization rates of their servers by letting a single machine handle a variety of applications that in past years might have been assigned to dedicated machines. By melding their own flavors of virtualization, one server could handle both Windows and Solaris-based programs using this approach. "One hundred percent of Sun's customers use both Solaris and Windows," says Sun Executive Vice-President John Fowler. "We have an opportunity to extend our technology leadership in this critical area with customers that we share."

In Business Week, 13 de Setembro de 2007.

Money talks. :D And it talks out loud! :)

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