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Yesterday Sun Microsystems officially released OpenSolaris and suggested that it's going to go head-to-head with Linux as a Desktop Operating System. Solarisx86 is nothing new and has been around about as long as Linux but it is historically proprietary and closed source. It was also very hardware-finicky and performance was slothlike.

OpenSolaris is a new way of thinking for Sun who've just purchased MySQL and VirtualBox--two of my favorite pieces of software--being sucked-up by perhaps my least favorite tech company next to Microsoft. Although Sun, unlike Microsoft, sees the writing on the wall for traditional operating systems like Solaris.

I think it's too late for a newcomer like OpenSolaris to make any significant contribution to the Desktop OS market. 10 years ago--for sure, 5 years ago--maybe, but now? It's just too little too late. Traditional Desktop computing is changing too quickly for a fledgling OS to gain any ground unless it's embedded or gadget-related.

OpenSolaris is cute, free, x86-based, and open source but a contender for the firmly established Linux market? Nope. Not a chance. Though it may have an easier time seeping into the propeller-headed geek's basement network, don't expect to see it in stores near you anytime soon. Sorry Sun, your supernova is no more than a white dwarf.

[Author's Note: OpenSolaris also hopes to compete in the Server space with Linux but here I am addressing the Desktop issue exclusively.]

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Last Post by harryl5
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Of course it's not a contender in the firmly established Linux market: there's no such thing...

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Of course it's not a contender in the firmly established Linux market: there's no such thing...

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I don't see Linux "firmly established" except as a server OS, just like Solaris. I use Solaris on the desktop at work (Sparc & x86) and have done for years with StarOffice/OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox etc, etc - all the open source stuff that is available in Linux. Okay, hardware support is not as good as Linux, but it is moving ahead in leaps and bounds with Opensolaris. My wireless network card is the only thing stopping me from moving my Dell laptop at home from Ubuntu to OpenSolaris. The "beige box" already is.

My other laptop uses OSX which is more proprietary, its also just as good as any other unix based OS, which are all better than the dominant desktop OS which survives on ubiquity alone.

In a few years it will be a moot point as corporate computing especially moves more to the web and Google's online offerings mature for home users.

I do wonder at times how Linux got so many column inches when FreeBSD and other free unix variants were easily as good. I put it down to the cute penguin :-)

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Opensolaris will probably win in the end. The CDDL meass it cant mix with linux GPL code, but it can come budnled with manufacturers h/w drivers in a binary format - this limitation of the gpl is whats currently hurting linux bigtime

Wtf does opensolaris use so much memory though (nearly 700mb!) its like vista...

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well said scru.
OpenSolaris is aimed squarely at the high end enthousiast and corporate market, a market where a hobby system like Linux is totally inappropriate.

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