Sun Microsystems Inc.’s refusal to release Solaris 9 for non-Sun x86 hardware could backfire and drive developers and users to Linux or even Microsoft Corp. platforms, users said. Disgruntled x86 community developers and customers charge that Sun’s refusal to reach a compromise is effectively making their investments in non-Sun x86 hardware obsolete. Supporters are so irked by Sun’s intransigence that last week they placed an open letter in The Mercury News, of San Jose, Calif., accusing Sun Chairman, President and CEO Scott McNealy of taking the developer community for granted.
Disgruntled Solaris x86 Users Turn Up Heat on Sun
2002-09-09 Solaris 15 Comments
Sun’s stock price: 3.49 (pathetic!)
1). On the hardware front they want to sell their proprietary expensive hardware…
2). On the software front they want to sell Solaris rather than Linux…
Either or both of 1) and 2) is/are fine except that Sun is losing the battle of innovation. Soon enough the Intel/Linux combination will make Sun useless.
Investors see no future in Sun; McNealy has not provided a clear path for the company and dances around the Linux topic.
Rather than innovate, Sun is screwing its customers. It is now demonstrating that investing in Sun technology is risky business.
Sun’s entire focus now seems to be on trying to get money from Microsoft through court action…Microsoft ain’t the long term problem. The low cost but effective Linux/Intel combination is.
Sun is on the ropes.
to Anonymous dude:
why not embrace Intel/linux for low end servers and use Solaris for high end servers. And that’s what they do.
Sun has to save money, and solaris on X86 just doesn’t sell enough copies to justify further development. Linux erodes Sun low-end ultra servers, and Suns release of linux is just a panic-move trying to keep the service revenue from those customers.
And Linux on high end:
SGI just today released a new world record stream benchmark on a 64cpu Itanium2 single system image, running linux64:
Linux will grab everything. Oracle is moving to linux64 as primary development platform, away from Solaris, and this is just the beginning.
MortenB, I don’t believe you.
Solaris SPARC and Solaris x86 use 97% or so of the same identical code base, so continuing to release the x86 version side-by-side with the SPARC version must cost them almost nothing in terms of resources, contrary to what you are saying. The fact that both versions are essentially the same code base is what makes the x86 version so attractive to customers and developers in the first place.
Instead of innovating its way out of trouble by moving more of the company into supporting Solaris x86, Sun is screwing their customers instead.
This is hardly a fair assessment considering that tech stocks in general have took a pounding. (In fact, the entire NASDAQ hasn’t been doing so hot.)
> Sun’s stock price: 3.49 (pathetic!)
VA Software stock price: 1.17.
And lets not forget that this is a company that less than three years ago broke IPO records when it was trading at 320 per share. Is it fair to say that Linux is dead? Of course not. Not given the current economy. It’s no more fair to say the same thing about Sun.
Oh, Simba, please explain to me again how Sun is doing well.
Profits are in the shitter.
Stock value is in the shitter.
Marketshare is declining every day.
They are losing customers left and right.
Java is fading as .NET takes the stage.
Sun has not innovated any new technology in a long long time. And everybody hates them for how they’ve handled Java, kept it a Sun standard instead of an open standard. Remember a long time ago, Sun used to invent things. Now all they do is blow hot air. Just like their big servers.
Where is the new engine that is going to drive Sun back to profits?
Simba?? Hello? Simba?
“Profits are in the shitter.”
This is true for most tech companies right now. The economy is in the shitter. In case you haven’t noticed, we are in a recession. It’s called the trickledown effect. Big company not making money. Big company not invest in new server.
“Stock value is in the shitter.”
See previous statement. Economy is in the shitter. We are in a recession. End of story.
“Marketshare is declining every day.”
Sun is the only commercial UNIX vendor that is GAINING marketshare. Sun is still the #1 UNIX vendor in the world, and in August of this year, Sun experienced a marketshare growth of 10.75%
Compared to the same quarter of last year, Sun’s marketshare was up 32%. All other UNIX vendors lost marketshare.
“They are losing customers left and right.”
They are? Is this why they are the only commercial UNIX vendor gaining marketshare and why their marketshare was UP from last year?
“Java is fading as .NET takes the stage.”
InformIT did a survey in which they found that The vast majority of Fortune 500 CTO’s polled said that J2EE does or will play an important role in their business strategy in the future. On the other hand a very small number said they planned to use .NET Sorry, but .NET isn’t taking the stage. So far, most companies just aren’t buying it.
“Sun has not innovated any new technology in a long long time.”
A kernel that can be dynamically patched without a reboot seems pretty innovative to me. Can Linux do that? Sorry. It can’t.
“And everybody hates them for how they’ve handled Java, kept it a Sun standard instead of an open standard.”
Um… Do you know anything at all about how Java is developed? Let me give you a hint. Java standards are controlled by the Java Consortium, which includes people all over the world. IBM has contributed tons of technology to Java. Hell, Sun has even had some of their own proposals for additions to Java shot down because the rest of the consortium didn’t want it. Java is very much an open standard. It is controlled by developers all over the world, and many of them do not work for Sun. (And in the case of IBM, they are even a competitor to Sun).
Anymore untrue arguments you would like to make against Sun (and Java)?
This smells like a ploy to protect Sun hardware sales. Seems like they’re afraid a lot of their customers will switch over to the x86 version of their software. Does anyone actually have cost comparisons/performance benchmarks of Solaris 8 on x86 hardware and UltraSparc hardware side by side from a fairly un-biased source?
I’d like to see it 🙂
Trust me it’s not that. Solaris an x86 has always been kinda underperforming when compared to it’s UltraSPARC sibling. That coupled with somewhat poor hardware support. However, that doesn’t mitigate x86 Solaris from being a *great* development platform (especially for students), and a damn fine Unix in general. I think Sun’s kinda shooting themselves in the foot. How often to you have people asking for a product and a company flatly refusing?
How many people are willing to shell out?
Howmany companys give stuff away for free? Not many live ones!
 We shall ignore the “get students hooked” arguments
goop: why not embrace Intel/linux for low end servers and use Solaris for high end servers. And that’s what they do.
I think his point is that Linux would reach to a stage that they could bring down Sun. Red Hat’s CEO once said the road to Redmond goes through Santa Clara.
MortenB: Sun has to save money, and solaris on X86 just doesn’t sell enough copies to justify further development.
Solaris is made out of portable code. The only modifications made by Sun for the x86 is writing drivers and making the whole codebase use GCC.
And a lot of Sun’s low end apps come from the x86 version of Solaris.
Simba: VA Software stock price: 1.17.
VA Software no longer represents Linux. It became unprofitable because it was selling commodity hardware at prices higher than bigger competitors, namely Dell and HP. There is a reason why they changed their name from VA Software to VA Linux.
Simba: Sun is the only commercial UNIX vendor that is GAINING marketshare. Sun is still the #1 UNIX vendor in the world, and in August of this year, Sun experienced a marketshare growth of 10.75%
Sun may be the leading provider of UNIX-branded OS in the industry, but Apple had already taken over due to sheer amounts of Mac OS X installations.
Sun gained market share not because of their great marketing skills, but because their main competition are either promoting Linux or creating one of the worst concieved merger in history.
Simba: Um… Do you know anything at all about how Java is developed?[…]
This only had been changed when .NET had been released to the EMCA. The Java Consortium only accepts contributions that would benefit Sun. Which is why a lot of IBM’s contribution had been drafted into Java.
Sun could do more to make Java more open (for example, switch from being a Microsoft bashing club and allow Microsoft to participate…. hmmm, probably with that, .NET wouldn’t exist).
But guys, Sun is in great financial capacity. It would take close to an decade for Linux to outpace Solaris or any UNIX in general. Scott may be flamboyant, arrogant, selfish, incompetent, etc., but Sun can survive him (unless he turns Sun into a Commodore).
Besides, stock prices doesn’t do justice to the actually condition of the company. For example, ever since the DOJ hounded on Microsoft, its stock price have been going lower and lower. This doesn’t mean microsoft would die. It has been making profits since 1998, yet market share has been going lower and lower.
Sun’s bubble burst when the dotcom bubble burst. Sun practically placed its entire profits on the outcome of dotcoms. Even when Sun had made huge recoveries, Wall Street hasn’t been kind to them.
> > Sun’s stock price: 3.49 (pathetic!)
> VA Software stock price: 1.17.
RedHat stock price: 5.40
Of course, Sun’s revenues are much higher, as is their market cap. Then again, they are losing more money than RedHat; I do not think they have the cash reserves that RedHat has. This is why working at Sun right now is anything except job security.
“The Java Consortium only accepts contributions that would benefit Sun.”
I see… And would you like to provide any evidence for this accusation? Article or something? or is this just your personal opinion with no established foundation or supporting material?
Anyone is free to submit proposals to the consortium. In fact, as I said, Sun even had some of their own proposals shot down.
The Java Consortium is NOT made up of Just Sun people. The suggestion that it only accepts proposals that benefit Sun is baseless.
Of course, Java benefits Sun at some level no matter what. But it benefits all other OS vendors as well except for Microsoft because it is the only major competitor to .NET.
“Sun could do more to make Java more open (for example, switch from being a Microsoft bashing club and allow Microsoft to participate…. hmmm, probably with that, .NET wouldn’t exist).”
Microsoft is just as free as anyone else to submit proposals to Java. And this has nothing to do with why .NET exists. .NET exists for the very reason that Java IS an open standard! Microsoft can’t stand that. It threatens them. After all, Java runs on all platforms. That means people can use something other than Windows! That’s bad from Microsoft’s point of view.
Let’s not forget that Microsoft had to pay $20 million to Sun for intentionally trying to undermine Java by introducing deliberate incompatibilites into the Microsoft JVM. Microsoft wants nothing to do with Java. It’s not that they can’t participate. It’s that they don’t want to.