In addition to the OEM deal, the companies vowed to improve the virtualisation performance between Windows Server and Solaris.
John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun's systems group, declared the deal a victory for Sun hardware.
"Microsoft's recognition of our x64 systems and storage is a testament to the superior system design at the heart of our product portfolio," he said.
Bob Muglia, senior vice president of servers and tools at Microsoft, was similarly enthusiastic about Sun's 64-bit x86 server line.
"Today's announcement is another example of Microsoft's commitment to 64-bit computing," he said.
"The Sun hardware platform is an excellent foundation for Windows-based enterprise solutions."
Industry experts, however, believe that the virtues of Sun's servers had little to do with the deal.
Jonathan Eunice, founder and principal IT advisor at analyst firm Illuminata, suggested that the Microsoft deal is more about a changing business climate than any specific hardware or software product.
"In our networked, integrationist age, everything must work together," Eunice wrote in an article for a company blog.
"Just about every solution must cooperate with every other solution, even if they compete."
Sun has traditionally promoted itself as a full system vendor from which clients can purchase completely integrated solutions, and has dedicated its resources to its Solaris operating system, Sparc processor and middleware suites.
Over the past few years, however, Sun has been opening up. The firm released Solaris under an open source licence, launched AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon servers and settled its long-running feud with Microsoft.
This strategy has allowed Sun and its formerly proprietary technologies to expand beyond the company walls. Sun signed a partnership with IBM last month to bring Solaris to Big Blue's x86 servers, for example.
Rob Enderle, founder and president of The Enderle Group, told vnunet.com that the IBM and Microsoft deals could signal a new path for Sun that may eventually lead to a radical change in the company's structure.
The analyst suggested that, as Sun strikes deals to increase the appeal of Solaris and its own servers, the company will begin to compete with itself and prompt an internal rift.
"It would appear that the natural progression would be a separation of hardware and software," said Enderle. "The eventual path that Sun is on is two separate companies."
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