Call it the enterprise version of Three Card Monty. While HP was touting expanded support for Solaris on its new Xeon systems, it turns out that there are some pretty shrewd calculations going on under the table.
The first is the realization that any customer heading over to the HP hardware is likely to get a hard sell as to why it would be even better to run Linux. But then there is the realization that Sun is also gearing up for the launch later this year of the Galaxy Sun Fires, also slated to run on Intel chips. So now, you basically have HP telling Sun customers, "why wait for Xeons from Sun, when you can get them from us right now."
Like we said, pretty shrewd.
Meanwhile, Sun is doing its best to keep Solaris on the forefront, with a wave of new features designed to enhance efficiency and reliability. At least the company has finally moved away from the same proprietary approach that left Apple on the dock for so many years.
And it doesn't look like it will be very long before Sun has to give up on its line of Sparc processors anyway. Now that Intel has found a way into the lower and mid-level Sun machines, it will most likely have to rely on Intel for greater processing power in the future, particularly once we see the 45nm generation take shape.