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Sun to add Microsoft Windows to servers

September 13, 2007|From the Associated Press

SAN JOSE — Sun Microsystems Inc. will begin building servers with onetime foe Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system installed directly in them, instead of forcing customers to install the ubiquitous software on their own or defect to a competitor for one-stop shopping.

The agreement announced Wednesday is the latest twist in a truce the companies, once bitter rivals, hammered out in 2004, when Sun pocketed $1.95 billion in a settlement payout from Microsoft over antitrust and patent allegations, and both companies vowed to make their products work better together.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun will begin incorporating Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 software into its so-called x64 servers, which are corporate computers that run on 64-bit microprocessors from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Servers are the computers in corporate data centers that process large amounts of data such as Internet traffic or financial calculations.

Although Sun customers have been able to run Microsoft's operating system on Sun servers for several years, Sun would not install it in the factory. That left customers who wanted Windows in the lurch unless they wanted to install it on their own or already had licensing contracts with Microsoft, in which case Sun would install it.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, the world's largest software company, stands to gain from the agreement because of Sun's reach in the server world. Sun is the world's No. 3 server seller with 13% of the worldwide market, behind IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., according to the latest data from market researcher IDC.

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