Sun packages Solaris and more in a free virtual machine

Sun Microsystems has begun offering Solaris and higher-level server software in a virtual machine that will run on VMware's virtualization software. The Solaris Enterprise System bundle--which Sun has made little noise about since its announcement in 2005--combines the operating system with software for calendars, e-mail, Web sites, Java server software and other tasks.

VMware's Andy Tucker noted the arrival of the free download on his blog.

The download option dovetails with efforts by VMware and Microsoft to encourage easier trials of software. Virtual machines are essentially separate compartments on a computer that can run their own software; software can be collected, tuned in advance and easily installed into a fresh virtual machine.

Update: Tucker left Sun and now works for VMware.

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