Sun Microsystems & Microsoft Pair-up for Survival

In the news, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft recently agreed on a distribution deal to include Microsoft’s Live Search Box in the download of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

How desperate times can make bed fellows out of former foes…

In 2004, Sun and Microsoft were embroiled in a legal battle where Microsoft ended up settling with Sun for a cool $2 billion. Fast forward to 2008, Microsoft is a weak third force in the search engine wars against Google and Yahoo! and Sun just bled another $1.7 billion in the previous quarter.

So in essence, the deal makes sense because Microsoft wants the traffic and Sun needs the cash. However, I find this deal a bit annoying because I can’t imagine a Microsoft prompt in a Java installer. Why? It’s a bit irrational, but I worked with a Sun project before and I saw how the battle with MS was very tight. And now they’re friends all of a sudden? Sheesh.

Anyways, the deal also is a copy-cat move from Mictosoft to catch Google. If you remember, Google and Sun partnered in a similar deal a while back, but the deal is now defunct.

Let’s see if this odd couple can score a win.