Sun and Microsoft are committed to addressing the needs of our mutual customers. While the companies remain competitors, there are key areas where we now are working together. In the eight months since the landmark, 10-year agreement between the two companies, we have seen good progress in a number of areas, including Web services, storage solutions and the use of Windows on Sun. Working together, the companies are focused on improving interoperability across product lines, which in turn will reduce costs, improve reliability and enable our customers to focus more on their core business instead of IT integration initiatives.
Web Services architecture: Through outreach and dialogue with customers, the companies recognize that accelerating the use of Web services for interoperability between our platforms is a top customer request. To that end, working with other partner companies, Sun and Microsoft have co-authored four important Web services specifications in the last six months. These are WS-Addressing (submitted to W3C), WS-Eventing, WS-MetadataExchange and WS-Management.
Windows on Sun: Sun sees Microsoft as a key partner in serving customer needs in the field of 64-bit computing. Suns AMD Opteron-based servers and workstations have been certified by Windows Hardware Quality Labs as Designed for Windows, and the workstations take advantage of AMD Opteron’s Enhanced Virus Protection for Microsoft Windows XP SP2.Our joint customer base now has the option of executing their graphics intensive workloads on Sun-branded workstations running the Windows operating system. This combination has produced industry-leading results in the SPECviewperf industry-standard benchmark. Microsoft has provided Sun with marketing support in promoting these workstations to Microsoft Certified Professionals.
Storage: The companies are working together to ensure that Sun supports Microsofts storage APIs, including Microsofts Virtual Disk Service (VDS) and Volume Copy Shadow Service (VSS) on Suns StorEdge™ 6920 storage arrays. Sun StorEdge 6920 system achieved Designed For Windows logo qualification to provide a reliable, consistent experience for Windows platform customers and is intended to simplify midrange storage provisioning for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange.
Improved customer experience: The companies are driving to improve the customer experience through a more formalized business relationship. Sun is working with Microsoft to provide a more seamless way for customers to resolve technical issues between products and to establish a Competency Center in Redmond that enables Sun to do in-depth testing of real-world applications.
Interoperability, Compatibility and Certification: Significant progress has been made in achieving greater interoperability between our current products. Sun has achieved VeriTest certification for Sun Java™ System Directory Server Enterprise Edition, Sun Java™ System Access Manager and Sun Java™ System Identity Manager, running reliably on Windows Server™ Sun is working hard to complete a plan to validate Access Manager and Identity Manager functionality in identity management scenarios using Microsofts Active Directory as the directory for user credentials. In other current product areas, Microsoft and Sun worked together to ensure that the release of Windows XP SP2 was interoperable with the latest Java Runtime Environment and the StarOffice productivity suite.
Java: As it phases out support for the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, Microsoft is pointing to Suns JVM for customers wanting Java on Windows. Microsoft is working with Sun as well as other ISV partners to ensure that their products run well on the Windows platform.
Overall relationship: The companies have worked to establish great communication at all levels from regular meetings at the executive level to in-depth working sessions with our engineers. Each company has dedicated relationship managers who meet weekly with their counterparts to check progress and resolve issues, and our architects and technical teams are meeting on a weekly basis. There have been 15 executive meetings in the past five months. Two dozen engineers are meeting face-to-face monthly to discuss specific technical issues. Top executives have also reached out to customers to help the companies focus their work together on what customers need.
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