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Thoughts About the “Novell Will Kill OpenSolaris” Kerkuffle

No-one's killing anyone, yet

Recently, a few sources of tension between Novell and Sun were identified [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Examples revolve around Novell's ridicule of OpenSolaris, exploitation (arguably so) of OpenOffice.org, and neglect of Java in favour of support for its biggest rival.

A couple of days ago, as we only briefly mentioned in one of the links digests, SJVN raised an interesting speculation about whether or not Novell can attack OpenSolaris using its ownership of UNIX. We recently discussed the possibility of Novell 'pulling an SCO', based on something that Novell said last week. SJVN may have taken it a little too far, but people carry on talking about his piece. In ZDNet UK, for example, you find this: Could Novell kill OpenSolaris?

Sun's just opened its developer conference with the long-delayed launch of OpenSolaris, the open source version of its Solaris operating system. But after all this time, will it live?

It's taken Sun since 2005 to turn OpenSolaris into a proper release, which Sun intends will stand alongside Solaris as a community operating system - like Fedora is to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


Bill Beebe jumps to Sun's rescue and gives a reasonable explanation in defense of OpenSolaris, which he has been happily reviewing. He also comments about Novell.

Considering how Novell professed at the time that that they had no plans to sue anyone over Unix, you have to wonder how they'll square that position with the current comments coming out of the SCO vs. Novell trial that just finished. They can't have it both ways. Especially when it looks like the only reason they might consider revoking Sun's agreement is as a blunt anti-competitive business weapon against a formidable competitor. You know, behaving like Microsoft.


These discussions and speculations might be worth returning to in the future. Below are some more articles that readers may find handy.

Related new articles:

Enterprise Unix Roundup: OpenSolaris, Farm Team or Big League?

To make it big in the enterprise, a platform must be on par with the Unix operating systems, the current meme says. And — interestingly — in this world view, OpenSolaris is not in the majors.


Does OpenSolaris Matter?

I'm not sure.

Sun first announced OpenSolaris in 2005 but they keep finding ways to announce 'first releases'. Yesterday was one such release.


OpenSolaris Wants To Compete With Linux - Oh Yeah?

Yesterday Sun Microsystems officially released OpenSolaris and suggested that it's going to go head-to-head with Linux as a Desktop Operating System. Solarisx86 is nothing new and has been around about as long as Linux but it is historically proprietary and closed source. It was also very hardware-finicky and performance was slothlike.


OpenSolaris Just Wants to be Free

“Glassfish is dual licensed — CDDL and GPL. And as you’re aware, MySQL is GPL(2), as is the Java (runtime) platform itself. So three very big components of what’d be a complete OpenSolaris platform are available to the broader GPL community.

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