Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 19th Nov 2002 09:24 UTC
Oracle and SUN This past year has been a breakthrough for Sun for both their Linux and Solaris products. The most intriguing news of all is possibly the challenge Sun poses to Microsoft with their Desktop Initiative announced a couple of months ago. We spoke to Bill Moffitt, Product Line Manager of the Solaris Lifecycle, about Linux, the desktop and Solaris. Update: Bill Moffitt replies on our forums.
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A few comments
by Bill Moffitt on Wed 20th Nov 2002 00:29 UTC

First off, thanks to Eugenia for writing this piece and to the folks who have responded to it. I'm gratified that this many people are interested enough to comment!

A comment: I am much more involved in Solaris than in Linux here at Sun, and, as such, more closely focused on server-side features than desktop. I wanted to answer Eugenia's valid questions about our desktop efforts and if I misrepresented anything I apologize.

One minor quibble about the last line of the interview: I think I said that next year is going to be a "fun" year, not a "funny" year (at least that's what I meant to say) - I am really enjoying being able to tell Sun's customers that we are embracing both Solaris and Linux for x86. It's just a great option for folks who are deploying small servers, and the folks who buy these things by the dozen (or hundred) are responding very favorably.

I do have to take sharp exception to "Red Pill" saying that,

"The Linux community needs to get Sun far and away from anything to do with Linux. They are a worse evil than Microsoft when it comes to the future of Linux."

This seems to stem from the common misconception that Linux is the enemy of Solaris. We at Sun don't see it that way at all: Solaris and Linux are open operating systems (in that the interfaces are openly published, standard-conformant, and non-proprietary) and the enemies of both are closed, proprietary operating systems in which the interfaces needed to effectively write applications are considered secret and/or proprietary. We are embracing Linux for the same reasons we embraced UNIX back in the 80's.

But Linux and Solaris are very different critters, aimed at very different users. Solaris is really going after the "heart of the datacenter," to replace the old mainframes and UNIX servers with something that's stable, reliable, extremely scalable, well-controlled and well-supported, but at the same time much less expensive, much more open, and multi-vendor (yes, Fujitsu's Solaris is the same as ours, and, remember, SPARC is an open standard - www.sparc.org). Linux is new, fast-moving, not as well-controlled (speed and control are somewhat in opposition, and that's a good thing), very open, multi-vendor, and a center for innovation. Linux's natural enemy is Windows, because both use the same hardware platform and tend to be deployed in similar ways. The real competition is between open standards like LDAP, Kerberos, XML, and even POSIX vs. closed standards like "Active Directory," proprietary file formats, and single-vendor APIs. Openness has to win, and Solaris and Linux are on the same side in that fight.