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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by Bill Moffitt on Thu 21st Nov 2002 01:25 UTC

Look, if we were out to kill Linux, we wouldn't be building a line of servers based on it. If we were the ruthless, rapacious profit-at-all-cost company you portray us as, we'd make a heck of a lot more money selling Windows servers. While I can't tell you what our plans are, I can tell you that we're planning to embrace Linux more, not less. We're going to work with the community to help make Linux (and the applications that run on Linux) better, but we're not going to pump millions of lines of code into the source base next week (unless that's really, really what the community wants, and I don't think it is.)

The real question is whether Sun is a friend or an enemy to Linux, and you'll have to judge by our actions. I'd welcome any evidence you can cite of Sun hurting Linux (that's evidence, not opinion, mind you) - I don't think it exists. We have certainly done a lot to benefit Linux and open source, from the OpenOffice project and NetBeans to the CITI NFSv4 project.

You might remember that our first foray into Linux was selling Linux on SPARC hardware, which was a non-starter, because nobody actually wanted it (at least then, about two years ago - we're open to that changing). You might remember that we sold x86 machines once before, as well, with the ill-fated Sun i386. Given the popularity of those two experiments, you might understand why we were a bit slow to dive into selling Linux on x86 hardware. But, if your definition of someone who's a friend of the Linux community is one who not only contributes to the technology but someone who is trying to make money with it, I think you'll have to concede that we now meet even that criterion.

Bottom line: It sounds like *you* are the one who doesn't want openness - it sounds like advocate Linux only, to the detriment of everything else. We think we can thrive in an environment where real choice is available - Solaris and Linux, SPARC and x86. We think the market is best served by having open standards that allow developers to move applications from one environment to another as easily as possible, hence our adherence to Java, Posix, UNIX, LDAP, etc. Finally, we think that high volume and low cost will always win, so we'll deliver the best high volume, low cost platforms in both the 32-bit and 64-bit segments.

I would advise you to not worry about the viability of Sun. Worry about the viability of anyone who would remove choice and openness from the market - they are our natural enemies, and we will continue to go after them, even those who wrap themselves in the cloak of openness and then sell proprietary solutions.