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Sun Takes A Shine To Windows

As part of an effort to expand its presence on x86-based platforms, Sun Microsystems later this year plans to deliver front-line support for customers running Windows on Sun systems.

Sun doesn't expect to bundle Windows on its systems itself. Instead, Sun sees that as an opportunity for channel partners, which are better able to support those customers once the company rolls out new systems designed with Windows in mind.

"We would love to grow a lot of our Windows sales. And we want to do that with our channel partners and integrators, while Sun field salespeople focus on Solaris," said John Fowler, executive vice president for Sun's Network Systems Group. "Today, we don't sell Windows or provide front-line support, but we are working on that. We will rely on channel partners to resell Windows on Sun platforms."

Fowler said he doesn't think Sun will need to sell Windows directly to be successful. "Most of our customers today already participate in the Microsoft Software Assurance program. So getting Windows from Sun is not as important, and channel partners are looking at providing Windows support as well," he said. "In reality, qualification, management, interoperability, performance benchmarking and support are much more important for our initial target market."

As part of this initiative, Sun and Microsoft on Thursday also showcased system management interoperability between Sun systems and systems running Windows.

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