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Sun and IBM promise operating system surprise

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Sun Microsystems and IBM look set to hold a whopper of a press conference tomorrow with CEO Jonathan Schwartz and IBM's systems chief Bill Zeitler all geared up to talk.

What exactly will be the topic of discussion? Who knows?

A co-branded invitation tells us that this is an operating system agreement thing. So perhaps Sun will ditch its middleware in favor of WebSphere on Solaris all the time or maybe IBM is giving up on AIX in favor of Solaris. But we'll go ahead and guess it's neither of those things.

Schwartz has been banging on about getting OEMs lined up around Solaris x86 for years. In fact, he used to promise us that IBM, HP and Dell would all be supporting Sun's operating system built for Intel and AMD chips. So far, HP is the only real vendor to come to the party, offering in-house support for Solaris x86 across its entire ProLiant server line.

"We sell more Solaris x86 than Sun," HP likes to say.

IBM has a half-assed, similar deal in place today where it will let Sun support Solaris x86 running on IBM's blades. Perhaps Schwartz played this video for IBM's brass and convinced them to adopt the HP way.

Of course, this could all be something way less exciting like Sun and IBM announcing a VMware killer together or agreeing to develop a new systems management paradigm. Gasp, maybe they've even crafted Solaix - the best version of Unix for Itanium.

Tune in tomorrow to find out. ®

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