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Sun Microsystems Businesses Red Hat Software The Almighty Buck

Sun Plans Solaris Subscription Model 152

heliocentric writes "As reported in this CNet article. In an effort to make its version of Unix compare more favorably to Red Hat's Linux, Sun Microsystems plans in coming weeks to begin selling its Solaris operating system through a subscription model." On the down side, there was coverage of the announced layoffs, as well as the MSFT case being won. The article makes a good point, that Sun has reinvented itself before, and that no one should write Sun off.
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Sun Plans Solaris Subscription Model

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  • Re:For free (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Monday April 05, 2004 @09:07AM (#8768147)
    Dind't they give it for free some time ago?

    Solaris 8 used to be free. Solaris 9 has some funky license (unless they've changed it again) where it's free for single processors and then you pay per processor slot capable on multiple processor capable systems. I.e. a dual CPU capable system with one processor still pays dual CPU prices, a 64 CPU capable Starfire pays the 64 CPU price even if you have 12 CPUs, etc. Here I was advocating going back to Sun because of Red Hat's incredibly high Linux pricing for servers.. I guess we might as well stay with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the cheaper Intel hardware. Sun has you coming and going with their overpriced hardware and now charging high prices for the OS.

  • by zz99 ( 742545 ) on Monday April 05, 2004 @09:11AM (#8768174)
    Hasn't Sun Microsystems licensed Unix code from SCO? Wouldn't a Solaris subscription funnel even more money to SCO

    No. Sun bought itself free a couple of years ago
  • Sun Freeware [] has been up since 1996 (maybe longer). Sun is NOT new in the OpenSource game. Remember, first and foremost, sun has ALWAYS been a hardware vendor. While they make money from Solaris, it's not enough to get by.

    Selling x86 Linux servers is actually quite profitable for them these days. Not as much of their market as the Enterprise Class SPARCServer market though.

  • Installers... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Allen Zadr ( 767458 ) <Allen DOT Zadr AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 05, 2004 @09:26AM (#8768262) Journal
    Very insightful from my point of view... In fact having frequently installed Solaris back in the early days ('95) - RedHat was the first Linux distribution that came out with an installer that was ALMOST as friendly as the one Solaris came with. (Just the facts).

    Because of the installer, RedHat was MANY folks' first Linux distribution. And I too love Slackware, but I can't use it universally because of it's lack of Oracle support.

  • by El_Ge_Ex ( 218107 ) on Monday April 05, 2004 @09:47AM (#8768465) Journal
    Sun only offered Linux as a cave-in to shareholders who wanted to see the costs of machines drop so that sales would increase. Only the costs stayed near as bad and Sun's support was half-assed so sales didn't increase.

    This settlement also has more to do with what's left of Sun's shareholders and very little to do with who's at fault. The lawsuit was seen by investors as getting money from a competitor back when it started (almost 8 years ago!). Since then it has cost Sun much more money than what even the settlement brings. They are just cutting their losses and doing what they should have done back in 2000: Release a Sun machine with Windows to appease customers who demand it.

  • Re:Won? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2004 @10:04AM (#8768654)
    Yes, but I don't think they see OSS as a great value anyway. There are couple of things they want to keep as open source. The operating system is one of them, and the reason is that this guy from Finland was able to come up with this operating system which pretty much emulates Unix and yet it is open without legal trouble (until SCO of course). That's where Linux become the choice. Before Linux we had bunch of different unix flavors. Now with Linux you have all sorts of advantages. There are lots of developers who can inspect the code, correct it etc... So it is a great value there. But Linux is a great value, not OSS. GNU nuts and few idiots turned this fact into open source is great type of propaganda. As we progress throughout these times we realize that, this open source thing is more about communism type of political system implemented on the software business, rather than something that has a great technical merit. Obviously nobody understands that, with all the success of the open source so far, each and every one of them comes with a reason not related to being open source directly. For example, mozilla is not a great browser because of being open, but because they funded hundrends of developers to develop it. AOL spent millions of dollars on the mozilla. It was open, but outside developers didn't make mozilla, AOL developers did. Similarly, open office is a gift from a commercial company. So, in essence we are seeing things that make open source viable from commercial companies. So somebody has to invest millions of dollars to make this software and then open it up with a purpose. Netscape proved us that open source is not the right idea. Abiword is another example. Sun might be the third company with its open office that giving up the software without a fee is not always a great thing afterall. If and when Sun goes out of business we will see that, people using open source is really doing that mostly out of desperation, and they are not getting the help they think they would out of this so called "open source community". Most of these people are teenagers lured into this communist type of propaganda, beliving that they are better than software developers working full time for a fee and that they can really change the world. The very fact that Slashdot turned into a news site constantly trying to make fun of Microsoft is a proof for the future of open source. Many slashdot monkies do not even know the technology quite well. They are more like monkies jumping up and down.

    My conclusion and prediction is that, open source will lose is momentum gradually and will be a niche as it was before. People will stop thinking that open source will change anything and will realize that it is a great way of developing software, but not a way to change our lives politically. People will also turn against these GNU nuts as these GNU nuts get more desperate they will be more and more annoying and people will shout back.
  • by leomekenkamp ( 566309 ) on Monday April 05, 2004 @10:04AM (#8768656)
    People are in general moving away from RedHat, not toward it.

    Numbers please, anyone can shout something like this. Last I heard was that RHAT had about 87500 subscriptions, of which 4000 entered last year. Read it today somewhere, but can't find the link anymore :-/
    This does not sound like people moving away from RHAT, but it's your word against mine.
  • Interpreting Sun (Score:3, Informative)

    by zz99 ( 742545 ) on Monday April 05, 2004 @10:22AM (#8768843)
    A few weeks ago a group from Sun on tour visited our office. They were showing their new road maps and answering questions. I asked some general questions, giving them an opportunity for some sale talk.

    They seemed to be intrerested in selling two things:
    1. development software (i.e. compilers and development environents)
    2. servers (i.e. bigger machines that they earn more money

    I asked them about workstations, and they hardly bothered to answer. My guess is that a Sun Blade 1500 doesn't give much profit at all.

    They pushed hard for their C/C++ complier and their Java IDE, and all its new features, and how easy it is to use for those that are skilled in Visual Basic.

    ...Well they might have said more, but that's what I remebered :)

    My conclusion was that they wantet to sell licences for software and servers most of all.
  • Sun Freeware has nothing to do with Sun, it's done by volunteers exactly because Sun couldn't be bothered with freeware.

    Yes and no. SunFreeware is not run by Sun, but Sun has given them their support, and distributes a CD of their software with Solaris 8 and 9. So the original posters point holds. Sun is not new to freeware.
  • .EDU Pricing? (Score:2, Informative)

    by pjdepasq ( 214609 ) on Monday April 05, 2004 @10:36AM (#8768968)
    I skimmed the article but saw nothing about .edu pricing. I would think it would be interesting to see what they are going to do with schools.

    My department has been wary of Sun's long term stability and is thinking of getting into different *NIX boxen. I'm pushing Apple, others like moving to Linux. The latter we can do by recycling our older PCs as they come out of the labs.

    If Sun starts subscription pricing in the acaemic markets, they may lose some of their installed base in the university setting.

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.