In reading the news today we see users drawing up a petition to save Microsoft Windows XP which is scheduled to shop shipping in June of this year. Microsoft extended the deadline once already but it appears this time it may go for sure. Take a look at any open discussion forum on technical support and you’ll see numerous comments—sometimes tirades – against Microsoft’s Vista software. The incompatibilities, the increased hardware requirements, the reduced performance levels all raise the ire of the users to the point that they are circulating a petition which basically says “we don’t want Vista.” As the age of the internet moves forward, Microsoft increasingly looks anachronistic.
An alternative path is the one Sun took when it repositioned it’s Solaris OS from a proprietary system to an open source version. The Open Solaris Project
takes a subset of the OS code and makes it available as a resource rather than an end-user product. Sun provides no support but let’s the community support itself.
The ultimate goal of Open Solaris is performance. From the mission statement to the tutorials, to the Wiki
Open Solaris focuses on improving the performance of the OS in order to improve the performance of the measurement.
CERN also uses Sun Solaris and prefers it when the number of systems reaches a certain threshold. Sun Solaris typically runs on more reliable hardware where high availability of machines is required. You can read more about CERN’s Linux and Sun Solaris usage here.
As with most technologies the promise never quite reaches the initial hype surrounding it. With the web at our fingertips, the historical accuracy of many predictions can be examined. In this article
the Year of Open Solaris was declared with great fanfare but the author wonders if it will really over take Linux. It hasn’t.