Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Solaris going opensource ?

An article on slashdot suggests that Solaris 10 will be open-sourced. It further raises concerns about the effect of this on Linux. I do not see why it should be a cause for concern.

First of all, linux is not the means or the end, its just an example of a successful FLOSS project. If the success of Linux could really force companies like Sun to take notice, and release products that were not originally developed using the floss way, and they turn out to be better, why should the Free Software community worry ? Let the best OS survive.

Having said that, I still don't see how Free/Open sourced Solaris can be a threat. Solaris for intel has been free for a long time, but has that affected the adoption of Linux ? Not really, because for corporates , 'free' as in beer isn't everything. So If Solaris at all becomes Free & Open, it would only affect those who were hindered in their adoption of Solaris because of TCOs. And besides the primary platform for solaris is sparc, just as the primary platform for linux is i386. We have versions of linux running on sparc, and versions of solaris on intel, and while both are free, they don't really compete. So the only threat that is there, is for those who have a sparc and couldn't afford Solaris uptil now.

In the end, any such news is good news, and its only microsoft thats going to lose, as it becomes more and more isolated.

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