Will Sun’s Open Solaris Get Traction?

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According to a story in ComputerWorld, “Sun Microsystems Inc. yesterday made good on its promise to open-source its Solaris operating system …

releasing code for a diagnostic piece of the software and promising to have full, “buildable” code available in the next few months.”

CEO of Sun Scott McNealy announced earlier this week:

“As the largest business contributor to the open source community, Sun has always been an ardent believer in open standards and the open source process going back to the inception of this company,” said Scott McNealy, Chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc. “The release of more than 1,600 patents associated with the Solaris OS far eclipses any other vendor’s contribution. Today represents a huge milestone for Sun, for the community, for developers and for customers.”

An article in IT-Analysis is skeptical of the plan …

“The question then is “will Open Solaris get traction.” This is hard to say. Undoubtedly it will get some traction. Solaris is a heavy duty operating system that has many capabilities that Linux currently aspires to but does not yet deliver. It also has a very healthy stack of software applications that run on it. That is enough to guarantee it a level of success.

However, it is probably too late in the day for Solaris to take the wind out of Linux’ sails. Linux is the flagship of the Open Source community and it now has a fierce momentum. That momentum has seen it ported to over 80 platforms (from the very large to the very small). It has generated an energetic ISV ecosystems and it even has supporters in governments across the world. Also there’s the skills issue (Linux skills now abound), and the fashion issue (like it or not, the penguin is cool).”

InfoWord also raises doubts that Solaris can compete (at this point) with Linux: “Now, the industry at large must sit back and see if open source Solaris can give Linux a run for its money.

Yes, Solaris has lots of years of development and some snazzy features that put it technically ahead of where Linux is today. Linux, though, has had such a head start in open source that it may have already crossed the finish line before Sun’s entrant in the race was even able to leap from the starting gate.

In a twist of irony, it may be too late for Sun to lead in the open technology vein that the company always championed.”

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Will Sun’s Open Solaris Get Traction?
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