David Berlind over at ZDNet has published an excellent note regarding Sun "open sourcing" Solaris 10: Will Sun’s 1600 patents suck the life out of Linux?. It is a thoughful complement to this CNET piece, that goes into more details on the background of the decision.
Sun has been struggling since the end of the bubble with an ever declining market share (and mindshare), and many had "buried" the company (even if it still has over $3B in cash on the balance sheet) because of its reliance on a proprietary version of Unix, and a proprietary chip design. The lack of support for cheap Intel boxes has always been a major issue for ISVs that, in an ideal world, would have wanted to run their Solaris applications on low cost servers. I am discounting the x86 version of Solaris that Sun released in the mid 90’s because it was too expensive, slow and lacked a proper … Read more »