Microsoft and Sun enter into ‘unholy alliance’ aginst IBM, Linux

“Microsoft and Sun redrew the battle lines in the computing world Friday, with news of a 10-year pact designed to better integrate the leading proprietary Unix and Windows platforms and unifying the rivals against a common enemy–IBM and Linux,” Paula Rooney and Barbara Darrow report for CRN. “During a brief press conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Sun CEO Scott McNealy–megarivals whose companies have battled fiercely in the operating system market for more than 20 years–pledged to make their platforms and respective development tools interoperate.”

Rooney and Darrow report, “The wide-ranging pact calls for seamless interoperability between Windows and Solaris Unix operating systems and Java and .Net development platforms. It also ends Sun’s aggressive antitrust litigation against Microsoft and transfers $1.6 billion of the $55 billion in Microsoft’s war chest to Sun, which has seen its profit margins battered by the growth of Linux on Intel servers.”

“‘The deal is an unholy alliance that spells the end of Sun Microsystems as we know it. This move makes Sun the Apple Computer of the Unix world. Apparently, McNealy thinks the enemy of his enemy–Linux–is his friend. They couldn’t possibly be more wrong,’ said Ron Herardian, CEO of Global System Services, Mountain View, Calif. ‘It’s just an unbelievable disaster for the industry. This won’t stop Linux; it just puts Sun on the losing side of the battle line,'” CRN reports.

Full article here.


  1. “[…] the leading proprietary Unix and Windows platforms […]”

    What differentiates “proprietary Unix” and non-“proprietary Unix”? The reason I ask is that, last I heard, Apple was the leading vendor of Unix systems. But that may have been measuring something else…

  2. I’ve known all along that the ONLY reason McNealy bitched so vociferously againt all things M$ – is that HE wanted to be Bill Gates.

    Fer’crisakes, he hates M$ Office SO much, that he bought his own. Said that there’d be a Mac version of StarOffice/OpenOffice, any day now.

    Yeah, uh huh. Whatever.

    And what’s with Java Desktop? Doesn’t it sit on Redhat? I guess your customers being screwed too.

  3. What differentiates “proprietary Unix” and non-“proprietary Unix”? The reason I ask is that, last I heard, Apple was the leading vendor of Unix systems. But that may have been measuring something else…

    Apple’s OS X sits on top of Darwin, an open source variant of BSD Unix. So while OS X is proprietary, the Unix it’s built on is not.

  4. This is the Saturday Morning News.

    “What have I done!” A man’s tortured cry eminating from the San Francisco area was heard around the globe this morning at 11am EST.

    Also in the news, Bill Gates’ personal wealth shot up last night to $120 Billion – cash.

  5. i love it.. whenever MS settles a f-ing court case, it’s usually to the sum of hundreds of milliions of dollars, and the media calls it an alliance, or some damn thing…

    MS is paying for its life of crime… there are more court cases coming too.. they don’t make friends..or alliances.. they’re thieves..dragging progress and sucking profits from the uneducated masses

  6. UNIX itself is proprietary. You can’t sell UNIX systems without licenses. However, there are other UNIX-like system that are using open source license and distribution, e.g. FreeBSD.

    IMHO, McNealy is stupid. He knows very well how Microsoft likes to stab their partners in the back and yet he is willing to let Microsoft in. I hope he is wearing armored plate on his back.

  7. There are better phrases in the world than “proprietary UNIX,” but UNIX is such an odd duck (take a look at that any accurate description would be a few paragraphs long.

    OS X has a bunch of different layers, some of which are proprietary and some of which aren’t. The underlying OS, however, is about as non-proprietary as they come–the mach kernal combined with BSD.

    A large percentage of OS X isn’t even Mac-orginated–it is NEXTSTEP, even down to the freaking rotating beachball, much of the directory structure, etc.

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