Oracle was the first top-tier IT vendor to announce it was putting its key product - the database - on Linux. The logic was simple: Linux freed Oracle from depending on a single company for operating system - that company was Microsoft. Taking the baton from Sun Microsystems' co-founder and chairman Scott McNealy at JavaOne this week, Oracle's chief executive Larry Ellison has seen his opportunity for independence again. This time, however, he may struggle to get his way, and - in trying - actually hurt one of Sun's most prized and widely adopted open-source projects.
Oracle and SUN Archive
Sun Microsystems shareholders have filed three separate class action lawsuits to block a $7.4 billion acquisition by Oracle, the company revealed in a 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The lawsuits allege Sun's board didn't live up to its fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders when it accepted Oracle's acquisition offer, saying "the consideration offered in the proposed transaction is unfair and inadequate."
Ever since news got out that Oracle snapped up Sun Microsystems, a big question mark has been hanging over Sun's SPARC business. Would Oracle kill it off? Sell it? Or would they actually invest in creating a top-to-bottom hardware+software stack, like Apple and Cisco? Oracle's CEO has given the answer. And yes, that's a new category icon up there.
"Oracle's acquisition of Sun raised a lot of questions about the future of Sun's core technologies. Oracle says that it is committed to Solaris and Java, but some open source advocates are concerned about the implications for OpenOffice.org and MySQL. Ars looks at how Oracle and members of the open source software community have responded to the acquisition."
Instant-On is an attractive to have for any system, but most commercial OSs haven't been able to accomplish this. Users are generally left waiting the few minutes to boot, and for some people in a hurry, that's simply not good enough. The aptly named program known as Presto is available for $19.95, and is installable on most any Windows computers. It installs a Xandros-based partition and boots up quite instantly. "Presto allows on-the-fly computing to check email, browse the web, chat with friends, make Skype calls, create documents, download media, apps and games, or enjoy music, videos, and movies stored in a user’s Windows folders." I'd say that's worth $20, and they're also offering to work with OEMs to get it on new computers on a mass scale.
With today's surprise announcement that Oracle will acquire Sun Microsystems, several questions were raised as to some Sun products, including MySQL, Solaris, and OpenOffice.org. Browsing around the net, there are several viewpoints on the future of these Sun products, and the OpenOffice.org team has even issued a statement itself.
We've been debating the merits of a possible IBM-Sun deal for a while now, and even Sun itself seemed to be in the dark as to if it would be a good idea to be bought by IBM. These debates are now all moot: in a surprise move (at least, I didn't see any speculation about it) Oracle has bought Sun Microsystems, at USD 9.50 a share, which equates to a total of 7.4 billion USD. The news got out through a press release.
Sun has launched VirtualBox 2.2. Sun is adding support for the Open Virtualization Format standard to its VirtualBox virtualization software. With the OVF standard incorporated into VirtualBox 2.2, users can not only build virtual machines, but also export them from a development situation and import them into a production environment. Sun also is adding greater hypervisor optimization, 3D graphics acceleration for Linux and Solaris applications, and support for Apple's upcoming 64-bit Snow Leopard platform.
Sun just released xVM VirtualBox 2.1.0, a major update with several new features, among them: better 64-bit support, hardware-assisted virtualization on MacOS, OpenGL 3D acceleration, easier networking on Windows and Linux, emulated SCSI controllers and full VMDK/VHD support including snapshots.
It's a sad day for all those countless admirers (seriously now, apart from myself...?) of Sun's Ultra 20 and Ultra 40 workstations. The Ultra 20 M2 and Ultra 40 M4 workstations have quietly reached their end-of-life, meaning the company currently has no more AMD-based workstations on offer. The magnificent case design of these machines, which made its debut in the form of the Sun Ultra 20, appears to be slowely but surely on its way out, since the UltraSPARC-based Ultra 25/45 have also been retired. This leaves the Ultra 24 (x64 Core 2 Duo/Quad) as the sole bearer of this case design. I would be very sad to see the angular and clean design go, seeing I placed it at number 7 on my list of most beautiful computers.
The world hasn't been kind to Sun for quite a while now, but with the economic downturn, things are getting worse. Sun announced today that it will be laying off 18% of its workforce, or about 6000 people. In addition, it was announced that Sun's software chief Rich Green has resigned for reasons that were not stated, although as part of Sun's reorganization and cost cutting efforts, many departments are being merged, and the software division is being restructured and reorganized.
OSNews reader rom508 sent us a note that apparently, Sun has ceased selling all of its UltraSPARC-based workstations, with only their x86 workstation offerings remaining. The Ultra 25 and Ultra 45 workstations, both UltraSPARC-based, are still listed on Sun's website, but are marked as 'end-of-life', with the notice that they are "superceded by the next generation Sun Ultra 24 Workstation ". One must wonder if this means the end of Sun's UltraSPARC workstation line. As a proud owner of an indestructible Ultra 5, I must say, that would be rather sad.
Dropping profits and stock prices have analysts speculating that Sun could be a target for either acquisition or a restructuring in which the company would sell off parts of the business and focus on a smaller set of technologies. In a July 31 report, the 451 Group analyst firm raised the possibility of Sun being acquired: 'Sun's sunken stock price creates a relative bargain considering its roughly $4 billion cash on hand, sizeable intellectual property and patent portfolio, and of course, its respected technology and products'.
In an interview with derStandard.at, Novell developer Michael Meeks talks mostly about Sun's lack of openness in regards to OpenOffice.org. He goes as far as stating that if Sun dropped out of OOo-development this "wouldn't be an entirely negative thing". He also goes on to talk about promoting Go-oo instead, and emphasizes the importance of breaking down the barriers between GNOME and KDE.
Yesterday we reported on rumours that Xandros would acquire Linspire. The official press release won't go out until tomorrow, but Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos answered a set of questions about the acquisition, so read on for an inside scoop on the Xandros-Linspire acquisition and what it means for both companies.
In what seems like a battle of ants in a case full of lions, Practical Technology has learned that Xandros has bought Linspire. "In an announcement that was sent out today, June 30, to Linspire stockholders, CEO Larry Kettler wrote that the stockholders had decided to sell all of Linspire's assets. This deal specifically includes Linspire, Freespire, and the company's distribution agnostic CNR (Click 'N Run) desktop installation platform." Not everyone is very happy with this one, though.
Sun UK's chief open-source officer, Simon Phipps, has a high-profile role to play as the company is seeking a complete its move to 100 percent open software development. When asked about the criticism over its commitment to open source, Simon re-iterate its commitment with a "Pig and a Chicken" story: "Both animals were asked by the farmer to bring something along for breakfast one morning to show their worth. The chicken turns up with an egg, while the pig turns up with a side of bacon. The farmer looks over the offerings and says: "Well, the chicken has contributed, but the pig is committed."
Let's take a closer look at OpenSolaris, particularly its use of ZFS, network problems that people have reported, the use of bash, and differences between OpenSolaris and Solaris and Solaris Express. Note: This is the latest article in our OSNews Article Contest.
Engadget got the chance to sit down with Jonathan Schwartz, the pony-tailed CEO of Sun Microsystems. Being the gadget blog that they are, Engadget asked Schwartz about the long-missing JavaFX Mobile platform Sun has promised, Java on the iPhone, and competing with Microsoft as an open source vendor.
When it comes to dealing with storage, Solaris 10 provides admins with more choices than any other operating system. Right out of the box, it offers two filesystems, two volume managers, an iscsi target and initiator, and, naturally, an NFS server. Add a couple of Sun packages and you have volume replication, a cluster filesystem, and a hierarchical storage manager. Trust your data to the still-in-development features found in OpenSolaris, and you can have a fibre channel target and an in-kernel CIFS server, among other things. True, some of these features can be found in any enterprise-ready UNIX OS. But Solaris 10 integrates all of them into one well-tested package. Editor's note: This is the first of our published submissions for the 2008 Article Contest.