Sun to Give Out Operating System for Free

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by texan.usenet@texas.removethisbit.com, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. Guest

    11/15/04 07:31 EST SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - After investing roughly
    $500 million and spending years of development time on its
    next-generation operating system, Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday will
    announce an aggressive price for the software - free.

    Sun, which has never completely rebounded from the tech collapse in
    2001, hopes the no-cost of Solaris 10 will not only attract customers
    but also expand the number of developers who write programs that work
    on computers running the operating system.

    The result, Sun believes, will be renewed demand for its servers and
    services. The company also will charge subscription fees for Solaris
    support and service programs that are typically sought by the
    businesses and organizations that Sun targets.

    "Hewlett Packard sells a printer at a low price and makes a lot of
    money on printer cartridges. Gillette gives you the razor and makes a
    lot of money on the blades,'' said Scott McNealy, Sun's chief
    executive. "There are different ways to drive market penetration.''

    Solaris 10 will be unveiled Monday at an event in San Jose, though it
    won't be formally released until the end of January. It will work on
    more than 270 computer platforms running on chips from Sun, Intel
    Corp. or Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

    The price of earlier versions of Solaris typically ran between
    hundreds and thousands of dollars - depending on the system that was
    being run by the software, said Tom Goguen, Sun's vice president of
    operating platforms.

    Sun also has promised make the underlying code of Solaris available
    under an open-source license, though the details have not been
    released. With access to the code, Solaris users will be able to take
    advantage of its features when developing their own software and
    systems.

    The move stands in contrast to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and other
    proprietary operating systems in which the blueprints are released
    only to select outsiders, if any.

    And, depending on the final license, it could make Solaris more
    competitive with open-source operating systems like Linux and
    distributors such as Red Hat Inc.

    "When we open source, the one advantage we thought Red Hat had is
    gone. Then we both have an advantage with respect to Microsoft,''
    McNealy said.

    "(Sun has) a worldwide service and support organization, which we
    think is way better than either company in the enterprise.''

    Solaris also will run programs written for the Linux operating system
    without having to make any changes.

    Though Sun also sells lower-end systems that run Linux, it believes
    Solaris is a better value proposition. To strengthen its case, Solaris
    10 will include security features that in the past were only part of a
    trusted version sold strictly to government agencies and the military.

    Sun, a star of the late 1990s tech boom, fell on hard times as
    corporate spending shrunk and rivals like IBM Corp. and
    Hewlett-Packard Co. started offering machines with less expensive
    hardware and software.

    The Santa Clara-based company has been trying to return to solid
    footing for years, and McNealy said Solaris 10 is an important part of
    the company's transformation.

    "It's kind of the tent pole - it just kind of holds up the whole
    deal,'' he said.

    Last month, Sun announced its second consecutive quarter of revenue
    growth, though profits remain elusive. McNealy believes the company he
    co-founded in 1982 has already turned the corner, though the
    financials have yet to show it.

    "
    There's always a lag with companies our size,'' McNealy said. "And
    that's assuming we're not making dumb mistakes right now that I don't
    know about.''
     
    , Nov 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. steve Guest

    steve, Nov 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. david v. Guest

    my 2c..
    Immediate benefits being improvements to TCP/IP stack, and then there's the
    longer term promise of better filesystem/volume management (demo looked to
    me like veritas features without the obscure commands), the
    software-mini-domains on a single machine looked interesting too. Portable
    filesystems between sparc and x86.. faster JRE, ipfilters included.. all
    good stuff.

    however I might be inclined to wait for the first maintenance update.

    -david v.


    "steve" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > wrote:
    >
    > > 11/15/04 07:31 EST SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - After investing roughly
    > > $500 million and spending years of development time on its
    > > next-generation operating system, Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday will
    > > announce an aggressive price for the software - free.

    >
    > I'll have to give a spin..... :)
    >
    > --
    > Distributed Computing Projects:
    > SETI at Home
    > http://boinc.mundayweb.com/seti2/stats.php?userID=1248
    > ClimatePrediction.net
    > http://boinc.mundayweb.com/cpdn/stats.php?userID=334



    ---

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    david v., Nov 16, 2004
    #3
  4. Enkidu Guest

    On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 22:51:29 -0600,
    wrote:

    >11/15/04 07:31 EST SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - After investing roughly
    >$500 million and spending years of development time on its
    >next-generation operating system, Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday will
    >announce an aggressive price for the software - free.
    >

    If it is like their previous "free" deals you only get the binaries,
    not the source. And it is much less complete than a Linux Distro.

    Add to which their servers are slower than a dead dog with no legs and
    frequently flake out a 100 or so MB into an ISO.

    Add to which they did not provide the software on CDs. It HAD to be
    downloaded.

    If they sell a CD with it on for $10 I might give it a try.

    So far as I am aware there's ALWAYS been a free version of Solaris
    available.

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    --

    These twin-CPU hyperthreading computers are really
    great! We can wait ten to a hundred times faster
    these days.
     
    Enkidu, Nov 16, 2004
    #4
  5. In article <>,
    wrote:

    >After investing roughly
    >$500 million and spending years of development time on its
    >next-generation operating system, Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday will
    >announce an aggressive price for the software - free.


    End of the line. No more market. Continuing to lose money. Succeeded in
    totally cocking up Java. Where to for Sun from here?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 17, 2004
    #5
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