IBM to distribute Sun's Solaris operating system

Armonk (NY) – Sun and IBM today announced an agreement under which IBM will be actively distributing Sun’s Solaris operating system.

The two companies described the collaboration as a an extension of IBM’s existing support for Solaris on certain BladeCenter systems, which now covers System X servers as well. According to Sun, IBM has become the first Tier 1 server vendor to offer the OS to its customers – in contrast to, for example, HP, which supports Solaris, but does not act as a distributor of the software.

Bill Zeitler, senior vice president of IBM’s Systems & Technology Group said during a conference call that he does not believe that Solaris will negatively impact IBM’s own AIX operating system. The company still plans to invest into the software, but he noted there is "no single OS that will be the single choice" in the market. He highlighted the demand for multiple operating systems as a key reason for IBM to also offer Solaris in its lineup : "There are a lot of customers who love Solaris and are loyal to it."

The executive mentioned that the company already has communicated the Sun agreement to its "field force", which means that IBM’s customers will have access to Solaris purchases and subscriptions immediately.

While IBM will be selling Solaris to its customers, Sun that will be offering support for the software.

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