Google and Sun Microsystems are expected to unveil a multi-product collaborative effort today, according to a Sun spokeswoman.

Both Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt and Sun chairman and CEO Scott McNealy reveal the deal at an event at the Computer History Museum.

Company representatives are staying mum over what the plans will be, but Jacki DeCoster, a Sun spokeswoman, noted that the partnership will be a "broad corporate relationship," similar to the one Sun struck with Microsoft last April, in which the companies will team up on several initiatives.

A relationship between Google and Sun is not surprising, considering that Google manages a large, distributed infrastructure to maintain its search site, and Sun servers powered the infrastructure behind the networks of many of the large dot-coms before the bust wiped them out.

Schmidt and McNealy also have a history together, as Google's top executive was chief technology officer (CTO) at Sun when it introduced Java in 1996.

Both companies also compete with Microsoft. Sources have speculated that Google is interested in offering more applications, such as a Web-based office productivity suite, to compete with its rival.

If so, a partnership with Sun - which has a broad software portfolio, including the StarOffice productivity suite - makes sense. Sun hasn’t yet found a way to bring its applications to the mass market. A deal between the two would offer one partner major marketing clout, and the other a significant technology catalogue.