Linux and Non-compete Agreements?

Savio Rodrigues By Savio Rodrigues
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There seems to be a lot of discussion about whether Project Indiana at openSolairs is a Linux clone or not.

The Project Indiana website states:

“Project Indiana is a new project to create an OpenSolaris binary distribution. This distribution will focus on providing a single CD install with the basic core operating system and desktop environment, with the opportunity of installing additional software off network repositories.”

Ian Murdock, of Debian fame, now with Sun, says:

“It is not a Linux copy thing,” ?. “It’s a best of both worlds thing.”

Most folks responding to the story at Slashdot and apparently those in attendance at an OpenSolaris user group in NYC (which fellow IBMer Mike Dolan attended) think Project Indiana is either (1) a Linux copy thing that should Sun should give up on, (2) not something that Solaris customers want, so Sun should stop wasting time and resources on it, or (3) both 1 & 2.

Jack Loftus writes:

“Now, from what I can understand the problem here is that Sun has continued to competitively position itself with Linux users with features like DTrace and ZFS when perhaps they should take a page from the Linux playbook and start siphoning off some Windows market share.”

Hint, it’s because the guys that buy/run/administer Linux servers are typically not the same guys that buy/run/administer Windows servers. Linux hurts Solaris (& other Unix OSes) much more than it hurts Windows. Sun has realized this and is trying to win over the “low hanging fruit” who used to be, or could be, Solaris customers.

What’s wrong with Sun trying to build a Linux clone with OpenSolaris? Why shouldn’t Sun compete with Linux if that is what Sun’s strategy calls for? We participate in a free market, let Sun compete as they wish. The strength of the Linux ecosystem, backed by a truly open and extensive community should take care of the rest.

Nothing personal here, it’s just business.

PS: I should state: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

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About Savio Rodrigues
Savio Rodrigues is a product manager with IBM's WebSphere Software division. He envisions a day when open source and traditional software live in harmony. This site contains Savio's personal views. IBM does not necessarily agree with the views expressed here.

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