Gumption

Fascinating piece here from Stephen Shankland -- Sun's next goal: A Linux ecosystem. I love the assertive and positive comments from Sun, and I love the skepticism from competitors and others. I'm not saying that honest skepticism isn't called for in situations like this, but what this article demonstrates quite clearly is that people are responding to Sun, not the other way around. That is what has changed around here. Anyway, here are some of my favorite quotes from the article (in no particular order):

"The time for Linux on Sparc as any kind of major market phenomenon has come and gone -- over five years ago now, maybe longer," Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice said. "It just serves to split the available development resources."

Isn't that what some said about OpenSolaris?

"To be successful, Solaris has to go beyond Sparc. But also to be successful, Sparc has to go beyond Solaris," said David Yen, who as executive vice president of Sun's Sparc server group is trying to make the chip family "the new industry standard."

Really nice quote. Solaris has been transformed due to specific innovations in Solaris 10, the porting of the system to other platforms, and the community building effort around OpenSolaris. It seems that SPARC is headed along a similar path. Next year will be very interesting.

"They're late, they don't have a particular price-performance advantage or any particular reason the Linux market would move there," Don Jenkins, vice president of marketing for HP's Business Critical Server group, said of Sun's move. "It strikes me as a pretty daunting task."

Also a nice quote. If there's one PR "key message" that competitors have tossed our way over the last few years it's that one right there: "They're late." Late to XML, late to Web Services, late to open source, blablabla.

"That's 'old think,'" [Jonathan Schwartz] said when asked if Sun had enough energy and resources to build Linux and BSD ecosystems for Sparc. "Open-source communities are a much bigger player today than vendors in creating ecosystems. So whether Sun is the lead or a supporter is less relevant than answering the question, 'Is there customer interest?' Given the 5-to-1 price/performance benefit of running Web loads on Niagara versus Xeon, interest exists from a broad variety of customers to migrate existing Linux-Xeon deployments over to Linux or BSD on Niagara."

Again. Asserting the positive, instead of crying about the past.

Still, Sun has no shortage of gumption. "Linux on Sparc is dead serious," President Jonathan Schwartz said in an e-mail interview. "I'm personally talking to leaders in the community. BSD, too."

Gumption. Now that's something I don't mind being associated with at all.
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