Sun's Open Source Strategy All Wrong?

Lora Bentley

Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian thinks Sun Microsystems' Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems are going nowhere. In the latest Linux Foundation podcast, released Monday night, the one time IBM salesman told (LF executive director) Jim Zemlin:

[Sun is] trying to strike a very delicate balance between being an open source company and a proprietary company. And what I've learned a couple years ago is you can't do that. You've got to dive in the deep end of the pool and understand that you're going to be an open source company and begin to behave like that... I think that is probably one of the greatest challenges that faces them as they look at what they want to get done in the marketplace.

He suggests that's why OpenSolaris has garnered somewhere around 60,000 downloads in the last two years, as compared to the more than 2 million downloads of Novell's SuSE Linux last year.


Hovsepian also advises prospective OpenSolaris community members and customers to beware the OpenSolaris community contract:

[T]he way they've written their contract, as soon as you look at [OpenSolaris] you can't go back and look at Linux... It's a very dangerous contract from my perspective for someone who wants to work on Linux.

Those are pretty strong opinions, but you have to consider it's coming from a Sun competitor. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz sees it differently, I would imagine.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 1, 2008 4:58 AM Patrick Finch Patrick Finch  says:
To be taken with a generous pinch of salt. I maintain the metrics on and I have no idea what 60,000 downloads Ron Hovsepian is talking about. I think it's safe to say neither does he.And what "OpenSolaris community contract" is he (and now you) talking about? Reply

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