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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Is it too little too late?

I read several articles recently about Sun's efforts to promote OpenSolaris and build a credible rival to Linux. Sun's President and COO Jonathan Schwartz often claims on his Blog (and elsewhere) Sun's position as the #1 contributor in open source: "Sun is by far the single largest contributor to the open source marketplace, having recently dwarfed even UC Berkeley's contributions". Sun has also added Roy Fielding, a founder of the successful open-source Apache Software Foundation, as the 5th member of the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board.

In an open letter to IBM’s CEO Sam Palmisano, Sun's COO touts Solaris 10 as the best Operating System out there offering incredible opportunities for IBM's business. It may be true but I cannot blame IBM for betting on Linux even after the news about OpenSolaris came out. Linux might not be the best OS out there (it's getting there fast), but there is a huge momentum behind it and a ton of IT organizations using it on cheap machines. You cannot reverse all this even when you're Sun by simply announcing that you are open sourcing "the most secure OS the world has ever seen".

I may be wrong but I think it's too little too late and I even wonder if Sun’s move serves the Operating System open source community. It was doing just fine focusing its resources on the thriving Linux, sometimes more is less. Somebody must be happy up in Redmond.

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