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.
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.