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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"We are embracing Linux for the same reasons we embraced UNIX back in the 80's"

What did Sun do with UNIX in the 80's? Sun 'embraced' UNIX, and then 'extended' UNIX, doing everything in their power to make their totally proprietary UNIX variant, SunOS/Solaris, into the market dominant UNIX. Sun has no history of trying to be compatible with any other UNIX flavor. In the UNIX world, Sun has been very much like Microsoft.

Let me check in for a moment:

- One still has to port apps from other UNIX flavors to Solaris, right?
- The user community has had to take out ads in prominent newspapers just to get Sun to keep Sun's own promises regarding Solaris X86. From McNealy on down, Sun proved they had a very anti-customer attitude with Solaris X86 as well as a reputation of LYING.
- Sun is still keeping Java out of any recognized standards committee.

I could make a very long list, but I will stop there.
Sun has to take action on these issues first.

What is Sun going to do with Linux? We heard the words right here on OSNews. The first thing they said was they weren't going to "hijack" it! That just goes to show what is on Sun's mind.

Yes, soon Sun's customers will get their own very special custom Linux. Is that good for Linux? No. Is that good for Sun's customers? Probably not. Sun may add some value that is specific for their machines and that would be good for Sun's customers. There is also the hanging question of "N1" which to date is mostly Sun marketing vaporware.

Until proven otherwise, the safe view is that Sun has no motives that are any better than those of Microsoft. Their behavior in the UNIX world was very Microsoft-like. And it is Linux that has come along and taken the UNIX world by storm, not Windows.

Oh, and for anyone who has ever used StarOffice, it is horrible compared to Microsoft Office. It drives like a clunky old car that hasn't been repaired in 10 years.

Don't trust Sun marketing when it comes to selling their own software. Try it out, side by side, with Microsoft Office and you decide.

Linux and its REAL openness is a large threat to Sun and Sun's history of rapacious prices for system software, programming tools, documentation, hardware, etc. Linux drives the cost curve way down and that is the big threat to Sun. Microsoft is not out there chopping prices anymore. In fact, Microsoft is raising prices. Microsoft is a giant company with giant overhead. So it is not Microsoft that is the big threat to Sun anymore.

Sun is still ripping people off on hardware, charging 8X market rate for RAM, 4X for hard drives, 2X-3X for displays, 10X for Ethernet cards, etc. It is shocking to see how expensive Sun computers are.

Contrast a Sun machine with a Intel-based machine running Linux. Again, it is the cost curve. Intel/Linux is far cheaper than Sun/SPARC. And Sun/SPARC is the mainstay of Sun's business today.

At the end of the day, Sun is just another corporate giant trying to subvert Linux and open source software for their own profits. And Sun employees? All they care about is their stock options. Subverting Linux is a ticket to making their stock options worth something.

Be very careful with what Sun has to say about Linux. They are very late to the party and their enthusiasm is forced. As we learned with Solaris X86, they do not tell the truth.