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26 September 2008, 11:17

Linux Foundation snipes at Solaris

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Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, didn't mince his words when stating his opinion of Solaris, Sun's operating system, to InfoWorld. "The future is Linux and Microsoft Windows. It is not Unix or Solaris", he said, claiming that there were hardly any new Solaris installations, ever more Solaris users were migrating to Linux on cost grounds, OEM manufacturers were turning away from Solaris, and Sun was in financial difficulties.

Zemlin said the special technical advantages of Solaris vaunted by Sun, such as the ZFS file system and the Dtrace tracing framework, were minor features without significance on the market. "That's literally like noticing the view from a third-story building as it burns to the ground." Sun's recent disclosure of the source code for Solaris was "too little and too late", he said, and there was no genuine community associated with OpenSolaris, the development of which was still dominated by Sun. In Zemlin's view, Sun is ultimately only interested in using OpenSolaris to attract more users to its commercial technology.

Naturally, Sun sees things differently. Charlie Boyle, the Solaris marketing director, even says that users are going back to Solaris from Linux, and Sun keeps on winning new clients for Solaris. Dell, for example, has recently started supplying servers with Solaris – so Boyle reckons there must be a demand for this operating system. He claims that the OpenSolaris community has more than 160,000 registered members, far outnumbering Sun's 34,000 staff.

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