Microsoft will support Solaris as a guest with its virtualization products, and Sun will do the same with Windows as a guest in Sun's virtualization offerings, the pair announced on September 12.
Sun also announced that is now an official Windows Server OEM with its x64 server line, the companies said on Wednesday. The two will begin selling jointly Windows Server 2003 running on Sun hardware.
In 2004, Sun and Microsoft announced Windows certification for Sun's Xeon servers and said that it expected to seek and obtain Windows certification for Sun's Opteron-based servers, as well.
"One hundred percent of Sun's customers use both Solaris and Windows," said John Fowler, Sun's Executive Vice President of Systems, during a teleconference for press and analysts.
Today's announcements were all part of an extension of the Microsoft-Sun partnership agreement originally announced in 2004.
Solaris already has built-in virtualization with Solaris. Microsoft is planning to add built-in virtualization to Windows Server with its Windows Server Virtualization ("Viridian") hypervisor. Microsoft will deliver a first test release (Community Technology Preview) of Viridian to Windows Server testers -- most likely next week according to sources -- as a built-in part of Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate (RC) 0. When Microsoft ships Windows Server 2008 in the first quarter of 2008, the product will include a beta version of Viridian.
Microsoft seems to have quite a fondness for building "interoperability centers." The Redmond software maker said the pair is constructing an Interoperability Center on the Redmond campus that will be focused around Windows on Sun x64 systems, as well as on other "joint Sun/Microsoft solutions in areas such as databases, e-mail and messaging, virtualization, and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) support in Sun Ray thin clients."
Microsoft also announced on September 12 that it's building an interoperability center with Novell in Cambridge, Mass.
Microsoft and Sun pledged on September 12 to work together in other areas, including collaborate to advance the worldwide deployment of the Microsoft Mediaroom™ IPTV and multimedia platform on Sun server and storage systems."