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Siemens warms to Sun's Unix

The groundswell of third-party support continues to grow for the Solaris operating system.

The groundswell of third-party support continues to grow for Sun Microsystems' operating system software.

According to sources, Siemens Nixdorf is the latest firm to adopt Sun's Solaris OS for upcoming server computers based on the Merced 64-bit microchip from Intel, due next year.

Sun garnered support for Solaris from systems player NCR last August and Asian giant Fujitsu earlier this month.

The relationships are part of an ongoing consolidation in the Unix market that should reduce the number of variations of the software. Santa Cruz Operation and Digital Equipment also are making various third-party deals involving their Unix "flavors."

Under terms of the pact, European company Siemens has agreed to adopt Sun's OS for forthcoming 64-bit server systems and will provide technologies from its Reliant Unix variant for clustering and high availability as part of an upcoming 2.8 version of Solaris, sources noted.

Siemens will deliver systems based on Merced in the second half of next year and plans to standardize on Solaris by 2002, the sources added.

The firm also plans to use the forthcoming Merced chip throughout its server systems, from low-end machines based on Microsoft's Windows NT to high-end mainframes.

The remaining major Unix players--Hewlett-Packard and IBM--have so far chosen not to be aggressive in licensing their software to third parties.