Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sun and Microsoft Agreement

Yes, you read that correctly. If you saw that and immediately expressed disbelief, you're just like me! However, it's true, but not anything that really affects us open source zealots directly. The agreement is essentially that Sun will become a Microsoft Server OEM. There are basically five different points which are addressed in this agreement, nothing really dealing with open source. But since I'm a Sun paparazzi, I'll go over it anyways.

1. Windows Server OEM agreement

Essentially, this means that you'll be able to choose Windows Server 2003 as an operating system when you order a Sun server (I don't know why you'd WANT to do that, but it's a choice). According to the audiocast, all of Sun's customers run Windows along with Solaris, so it makes sense to offer it too. Yeah, that's kinda hard to believe, but I'm sure Sun knows what it's talking about.

2. Sun x64 Systems and Storage

This basically means that Microsoft and Sun will work to get Windows Server 2003 to work on Sun hardware (I don't if any amount of work on Windows could improve it very much, but I'd like to see them try).

3. Solaris and Windows Virtualization

This is fairly straightforward. Microsoft will work to make sure that Solaris could be virtualized on Windows Server 2003, and Sun will make sure that Windows Server 2003 could be virtualized on Solaris. I personally think Microsoft will have to work harder on this, because virtualization is built-in to Solaris. I'd like to see a sort of competition in features between the openSolaris community and the Microsoft developers (I'm sure you can guess who I think will win).

4. Expanded IPTV partnership

This is kinda confusing. So far, I've been able to glean that Windows Server 2003 has a piece of software called Microsoft mediaroom IPTV, which basically is able to stream internet TV. I have NO idea why this is so important as to merit a separate point. But it seems like having a good piece of Microsoft software running on extremely good Sun hardware will make streaming internet TV much more efficient.

5. Expanded Investment in Interoperability

This basically means that Microsoft and Sun are going to build an Interoperability Center, which is basically a lab where Sun/Microsoft employees will try to improve Windows Server 2003 performance on Sun hardware (and this'll give Sun employees a reason to be on Microsoft grounds, hehehe).

So yeah, this agreement is not at all threatening to the open source community. However, I'm still wondering WHY? I understand why Sun is offering Windows Server 2003; it's because most people end up installing it on Sun hardware anyway. But I don't understand why people WANT Windows Server 2003. What does it have that Solaris doesn't? If anyone has an answer, please, leave a comment and tell me.


Cairnarvon said...

Embrace, extend, etc.~

cactaur said...

That described Solaris, but what about Windows?