Ian Murdock Joins Sun as Solaris strategy officer

OK, I admit that this is old news.  I've been on vacation and consumed by my day job and have been unable to comment for a while. 

Who is Ian Murdock?  He has both a blog and a Wikipedia entry for the full details.  Primarily he is the founder of Debian and has been heavily involved in the open source movement for years.

What will he do at Sun?  According to this article, as the Chief Operating Platforms Officer he plans to make Solaris more Linux-like.  He's NOT referring to the Linux kernel, however, but the user environment built around the Linux kernel.  This includes developer tools, admin tools and user interfaces.  We wouldn't want to use a Linux kernel because the Solaris kernel is better and provides a stronger platform for innovation.

What would I like to see him do at Sun?  As a systems engineer at Sun, I'm fortunate to have the skills to deal the the "idosyncracies" of Solaris.  However, as a computer user who is 100% Microsoft free (Solaris at work and on my laptop, MacOS X at home), I would like to see him bring better usability to Solaris in a number of areas including:

  • Quicktime built into Solaris
  • Improve ability to add open source packages
  • Simple, accessible management tools
  • Easier installation process
  • Suspend/resume on laptops

On a broader basis, I think he needs to:

  • Improve the credibility of Solaris in the various open source communities with which we interact (having come from the Free Software Foundation, he should know how they think)  This may include changing the license model for OpenSolaris
  • Increase the "cool" factor for Solaris with high school and college students as well as developers and customers.
  • Work with our enterprise customers to get the message out louder and clearer that:

Welcome on board Ian and good luck!

Why should you care?

The hiring of Ian Murdock is a strong message from Sun to the industry and developer community that Solaris will continue to be a focus area for Sun, and we will improve its market position on Intel and AMD platforms (from Sun or other vendors).

If you have more questions about Sun's strategy for Solaris and are a US Federal Government customer, contact Sun Federal at 703 204 4100 in McLean VA.


 


 


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About

Jim Laurent is an Oracle Sales consultant based in Reston, Virginia. He supports US DoD customers as part of the North American Public Sector hardware organization. With over 17 years experience at Sun and Oracle, he specializes in Solaris and server technologies. Prior to Oracle, Jim worked 11 years for Gould Computer Systems (later known as Encore).

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