OpenSolaris Needs Time to Shine

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Analysts and competitors alike are taking a "show me" approach to Sun's release of some OpenSolaris source code.

On Tuesday, Sun Microsystems Inc. released a large part of the source code for its newly open-sourced Unix operating system, OpenSolaris, to the public on the project's Web site. While developers look over the code, analysts are considering what OpenSolaris may mean to Sun's business.

"In the near term, it doesn't really fundamentally change Sun's Solaris business," said Gordon Haff, senior analyst for research house Illuminata Inc.

"The Solaris community remains the Solaris community. Sun's enterprise customers continue to buy supported Solaris. Sun continues to do most Solaris development internally," Haff said.
That internal development, if it dominates external open-source development, may prove to be a problem, however.

The success of OpenSolaris and Sun "depends upon Sun building an open multivendor, multi-end-user organization community around its products," said Dan Kusnetzky, IDC's vice president of system software.

And some analysts fear that Sun's internal development staff may stand in the way of building such a community.

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