Sun Chairman/CEO Scott McNealy, in an email to Hewlett-Packard CEO/President Mark Hurd on Wednesday, is proposing convergence of HP's HP-UX Unix OS with Sun's Solaris 10 Unix OS.
HP, McNealy said, had compelled its customers, developers and partners to change by ending development of PA-RISC servers and relegating HP-UX to systems running Intel's Itanium processor.
"We propose an alternative -- that Sun and HP commit to converge HP-UX with Sun's flagship volume Unix, Solaris 10," McNealy said. During the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco last month, Sun President/COO Jonathan Schwartz said Sun had made such overtures to HP. An HP representative contacted after Schwartz's comments rejected Sun's proposal and had only harsh words for Sun, saying its market share was eroding and it was losing customers to HP and IBM.
When notified of McNealy's overtures on Wednesday, HP responded with no comment.
But McNealy argues that teaming up with Sun would benefit HP customers. "By combining our resources and investments, HP's customer and developer communities would gain the benefit of the fastest growing operating system in the marketplace: improved economics, rapid innovation and a rich future roadmap otherwise unavailable to your ProLiant user base (given that HP-UX doesn't run on ProLiant)," McNealy said.
"I would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss how we can work together to satisfy customer demand. We stand ready to help," McNealy said in his email.
He also cited Solaris 10 having had more than 4 million licenses issued in the past year, which he said was more than HP had shipped with HP-UX in the history of HP.
McNealy said HP and Sun share a common history of innovation. This is far cry from McNealy calling HP just a printer company, which he has been known to do.