Sun selling windows servers ??? Will somebody please think about the children!! (and Scott McNealy)

15 09 2007

Sun Microsystems announced earlier this week that they will sell servers running Windows. My my… it’s a weird world we live in. Former hard-core rivals now trying their hand at an alliance. Scott McNealy (the ex-CEO of Sun) was one of the most famous faces of the anti-microsoft movement. He never let go of an opportunity to deride the mighty Microsoft at any event or press meet. One of his more popular quotes was: “Microsoft is now talking about the digital nervous system. I guess I would be nervous if my system was built on their technology too.”

sun logoAnd yet, his servers WILL be running Microsoft software from now on. So is this yet another example of the “If you can’t beat em, join em” routine? Early last year, Apple started bundling Intel processors in their macs… an unbelievable development at that time. Within months, 3rd party solutions allowed you to run windows on the mac. Apple had always touted the enhanced performance of its PowerPC processors versus Intel chips and yet…..

In the handheld arena, Palm (to the absolute horror of their fan base) started to bundle Windows Mobile on their smart phones two years back.

So what lies in the future for the IT industry? The common trend in all these developments is that the all and mighty Microsoft seems to be penetrating every possible software installation with its pervasive Windows OS. Be it handhelds/PDAs and even servers of former rivals.

Once upon a time, Sun had it all…. it’s own line of processors, servers, a proprietary OS, thin client computing solutions. But eventually, free Linux based Intel powered servers got cheaper over time and Sun started to lose out big time. Today its flagship OS – Solaris is free for all. It’s server rates are slashed heavily. And now with windows based servers, it can offer existing clients some neat windows virtualisation solutions.

Windows Virtualisation for existing clients is obviously the main benefit for Sun. Let’s get real on this… IT departments in the market for new windows servers will stick with Dell or IBM.

Anyway, time will tell how this move will impact Sun and its brand equity. Till then, I can only imagine what Scott is going through right now 🙂




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