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Sun To Acquire Virtualization Developer

Sun Microsystems yesterday announced plans to purchase German software developer innotek, the maker of VirtualBox, a set of open source x86 virtualization tools for home and enterprise users. The announcement comes less than a month after the signing of Sun's $1 billion definitive agreement to acquire open source database developer MySQL. Terms of this latest deal have not been disclosed.

According to Sun, the acquisition will "strengthen Sun's leadership in the virtualization market" by extending the company's xVM platform onto the desktop. VirtualBox runs on Mac OS X (Intel), Linux, Windows, and OpenSolaris hosts and supports a wide range of guest operating systems, from OpenBSD and Linux to Windows Server 2003 and Vista. The Mac version is presently in beta.

"VirtualBox provides Sun with the perfect complement to our recently announced Sun xVM Server product," said Rich Green, executive vice president of Sun Software, in a statement released by the company yesterday. "Where Sun xVM Server is designed to enable dynamic IT at the heart of the datacenter, VirtualBox is ideal for any laptop or desktop environment and will align perfectly with Sun's other developer focused assets such as GlassFish, OpenSolaris, OpenJDK and soon MySQL as well as a wide range of community open source projects, enabling developers to quickly develop, test and deploy the next generation of applications."

Back in mid-January, Sun announced its intent to purchase aNother major "developer-focused asset" in the form of MySQL. That acquisition is expected to be completed by June 30, though possibly much sooner.

The innotek stock purchase agreement is expected to be completed--pending "customary closing conditions"--during Sun's third fiscal quarter, which ends March 31. The exact value of the deal was not disclosed, as, according to Sun, "the transaction is not material to Sun's earnings per share."

VirtualBox, meanwhile, is freely available via virtualbox.org under the GNU General Public License.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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