Sun gets Microsoft-friendly with promotion

Sun Microsystems has found one more way to cosy up to users of Microsoft products without actually shipping the Windows operating...

Sun Microsystems has found one more way to cosy up to users of Microsoft products without actually shipping the Windows operating system on its computers.

For the next three months, Sun will offer Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) a 35% discount on its line of Opteron servers and workstations.

The promotion is designed to give Microsoft professionals the "unique opportunity" to sell and support Windows on Sun's PC systems, Sun said.

Sun's historical animosity towards Microsoft has waned substantially since the two companies settled their legal differences and entered into a technical collaboration agreement in April.

Sun has already certified its Xeon and Opteron systems to run Windows, but company executives say that unlike other major PC suppliers, Sun still has no plans to ship Windows.

With the promotion, which expires on 1 November, MCPs will also be able to buy Sun's Java Creator development tool at half price.

A Sun Fire V20z server with two Opteron 244 processors and 2Gbytes of memory will cost $3,195 (£1,780) under the discounted price. Sun's Java Workstation W1100z will start at $1,495.

MCPs who want to take advantage of the Opteron's 64-bit capabilities may have to wait awhile, however.

Microsoft is not expected to ship a production version of Windows that can take advantage of Opteron's 64-bit instruction set until the first half of 2005 - several months after Sun's promotion ends.

Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service

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