IT Manager's Journal | Sun Microsystems: Ready for a comeback?
: "Key reasons why Sun's on new track
Sun's latest strategy and the Solaris 10 release offer a number of important technical and functional features that may result in producing positive traction in the market:
The announcement of a free version of its Solaris 10 operating system. Anyone who registers with Sun will be able to use Solaris for free on servers with x86 processors. Sun will provide free security updates in the free Solaris version and will charge a low annual subscription fee for fixes and support. This is an ambitious effort by Sun to win back the market share they lost to Linux in the past.
The strategy of targeting Linux market share. Solaris's main rivals are Linux, Microsoft's Windows, and Unix-based products. like IBM's AIX and Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX. Linux is without a doubt an emerging force with a rapidly growing market. According to International Data Corp (IDC), Linux servers posted a ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth with year-over-year revenue growth of 42.6 percent and unit shipments up 31.7 percent. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Sun is aggressively going after Linux's market share. It's premature to know how successful will Sun really be in this battle, however, it is clearly a step in the right direction.
Solaris 10 will also run Linux applications. The Sun Linux initiative (formerly called Project Janus) promises Sun
software will allow Red Hat Enterprise Linux software to run on the x86 version of Solaris. This functionality will also allow customers to lower their IT costs in many ways. It will allow IT organizations to run Solaris and Linux applications on a single system, increasing server utilization, creating cross-platform development efficiencies, and flexibility. Sun is offe"