Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Nov 2007 19:49 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris Erstwhile bitter rivals Dell and Sun Microsystems are set to announce that Sun's Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems will be supported in all of Dell's servers. Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell and Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz plan to make the announcement during a joint appearance at the Oracle OpenWorld 2007 conference today.
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Compared to 5 years ago, there are even less software ported to Linux.

Compared to 5 years ago, WINE is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, 3rd party driver support for hardware is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, OpenOffice has in all honesty, went backwards. Microsoft Office is EVEN more dominant now, than it was 5 years ago.

These are just my personal observations.


I'm glad you added that last about it being personal opinion. At least you admit you can't point to facts to support those assertions.

1. I doubt that the amount of software ported to Linux from some other OS is less now. Corel dropped out after MS invested in them and the CEO left. But that's the only significant dropper-out that comes to mind. But there is surely less need for ported, closed source packages today than 5 years ago, since more OSS packages are available to fill more niches.

2. I would disagree with this. In my business, which is supporting Linux servers and business desktops, I do use Wine in targeted areas. And Wine, while it has never blazed very rapidly down the trail, has indeed gotten better at the tasks I require of it. Though, thankfully, my need for it today is much lower than what it was 5 years ago. Today, as long as it runs IE6 well, I'm set.

3. Compared to 5 years ago, I find the driver support to be *far* better. Especially for that problematic area of *printers*. USB has gone a long way to help the situation, and more vendors are Linux aware. Of course, wireless network chipsets are the current bugaboo; But the stage looks set for that situation to improve. We, the Linux community, really have to take some of the blame for that, since our infrastructure did not make things as easy for hardware vendors or OSS driver writers as it could have.

4. I'm unclear if you are addressing quality or market dominance regarding OpenOffice going backwards. But I've had many users using it since 1.0.x, and I don't see how anyone could argue that it has not gotten faster, more capable, and better at importing MS formats in the last 5 years. And though OOXML is not exactly an *optimal* standard. It *is* better for 3rd parties like OO than the previous MS formats. So I only see things getting better, there.

These are, of course, my observations. But they are informed ones. Selling and supporting Linux, and in particular Linux desktops, has not always been an easy thing in this MS dominated world. So I am faced with these issues every day. And it is exceedingly obvious to me that I am having a much easier time of it today than 5 years ago.

At any rate, since *Solaris has even less supported closed source software, needs Wine for the same things Linux does, is *way* behind on driver support, and uses OO in the same ways as Linux does... I'm mystified as to why you would find it preferable for the reasons you give here. Which is not to say that it doesn't shine over Linux in other ways; I'm not knocking *Solaris. I have always commended Sun and the *Solaris community om their OSS work, and welcomed them.

While I *do* believe that a bit of consolidation might be beneficial to Linux in certain areas, I would disagree with your goal of narrowing everything down to one player. I feel that you are underestimating the *crucial* importance of ongoing competition. No player achieves top performance without someone or something to compete against. And that is before you even get to the arguments involving cross-pollination, and Linus' concept of massive parallel development and software natural selection.

That last might be controversial, but you don't have to accept that bit to accept that competition is vitally important.

Edited 2007-11-15 19:01

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