Death of an OS

Aug 15th, 20101 Comment

About five years ago Sun launched the OpenSolaris, essentially a free version of their Solaris Operating System. Probably a great idea with regards to getting people interested in Sun and Solaris, but a project that was never funded sufficiently to compte with the likes of Linux.

When Oracle took over Sun recently things went very quiet on the OpenSolaris front, up until now.  You can find an abridged version of the announcement here, but essentially it looks like Oracle are putting it’s resources into Sun’s commercial projects and OpenSource is becoming a bit of an unaffordable sideline.

One of the problems for anyone wanting to fork OpenSolaris is of course that they would no longer have access to ongoing changes and bug fixes in Solaris itself, so as well as all the work that was being done on OpenSolaris, they would also have to duplicate the commercial efforts of an IT giant – it’s just not going to happen.

Possibly another reason why using an OpenSource version of a closed source project is inherently unsafe?

Anyway, what does this tell us about the future of other OpenSource products that Oracle now control that also compete with their commercial product base? Specifically I’m talking about MySQL … (!)

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One Response to “Death of an OS”

  1. avatar mark says:

    Oracle seem to be making a few strange moves lately, moves that are highly likely to annoy the open source community, it remains to be seen if and how this will have any consequences for Oracle themselves.

    I’ve got a sneaking feeling Oracle have a hidden agenda with this and their suing of Google over Java use in Andriod… It feels like they are up to something, but what?

    It may be nothing more than trying to work out a way of monetizing their Sun acquisitions, and in my opinion getting it totally wrong, but I still feel there is more to it.

    With the internal memo containing a kind of “road map” for their open source projects and contributions, the total lack of a mention about their plans for MySQL and OpenOffice also seems a bit strange… surely like everyone else, their “engineers” must be wondering about these too.

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