Shocking pictures leaked by a careless Microsoft blogger reveal a love that dare not speak its name. The photos from the Redmond campus are, in fact, so raunchy and audacious that a special Register editorial meeting was held to discuss whether or not they should even be discussed in an open forum. In the end, we decided to go ahead with the photos. It seemed like the right thing to do.
The pictures start off innocently enough with workers sharing coffee and snacks. But then you notice the logos on the employees' shirts - there appear to be AMD and Sun Microsystems tags. Sure enough, a thorough search of Bryce Milton's site reveals a slew of Sun engineers cavorting with Microsoft and AMD staff at The Beast's Enterprise Engineering Center. Who knew?
It turns out that Microsoft has just acquired $850,000 worth of Sun's Opteron-based servers and storage systems. To be exact, Microsoft has 20 SunFire V20z servers, 8 SunFire 40z servers, an 8TB Sun StoreEdge 6920 SAN (storage area network) box, an N2120 Secure Application Switch, and 8 Opteron workstations. Did Microsoft actually pay for the kit? We doubt it.
"Expect more to follow, as I can't wait to hear what our customers have to say about the screamin' x64 SunFire systems that Sun is putting out these days," writes Microsoft blogger Milton - whose days at Microsoft must now surely be numbered.
Michael Dell must be outraged to be omitted from such an orgy of sly-winking hardware fetishism. How many times has he come to Microsoft's aid, easing Redmond's Linux pain by easing Dell out of its Linux commitment? Dell and Microsoft have always been the two popular kids trying to knock the dorks at Sun from the playground. Instead, Sun gets to take it on the rim. Revolting.
"So far, the typical customer reaction has been rather comical, with customers and employees alike walking by the gear for the first time tripping over their double-takes and dropping jaws in surprise: I'm thinking the hallmarks of a success here will be when those reactions subside and people accept that these two companies have put aside differences to focus on their customers," Milton writes.
What's so grotesque about this whole affair is that Sun and Microsoft are supposed to hate each other. You remember. Sun's CEO Scott McNealy put off retirement to battle the great Satan of the North. And now we find that Windows Server 2003 is stumbling away on the Sun kit.
The Sun/Microsoft love comes as a result of the two companies' much-publicized settlement. Microsoft tossed Sun $2bn to shut up and stop calling it evil in the press so often. Now, a few months later, we have a Microsoft glob, telling us how happy he is to see a Sun workstation.
Is there a moral to this story? Well, yes. Milton should be fired for being so emotional about a workstation in public. Other bloggers have rightly been canned for similar offenses. There's another moral too though. All good hate comes to an end, when desperate capitalists are involved.
Witness all the depravity here.®