It is the ecosystem, stupid.
By Frederic Pariente on Feb 11, 2009
So yes, my Palm PDA is a bit of an antique. People are usually surprised that I still own a PDA --the smartphones do it all now--, that I went through the troubles of making it work with my Mac and that it is still proving useful to me. On a daily basis, in fact. I use it to backup & sync my Sun Calendar --and it even gets the timezone of my repeating events right unlike iCal-- and my Address Book contacts --which I can consult on the road without a magnifying glass unlike with my Nokia E-series cellphone. I use it to emulate a HP 48-series calculator. I use it to look up flight timetables, dictionnaries, subway maps from around the world. I use it because of the large ecosystem of applications for Palm OS now Garnet OS.
An healthy ecosystem is, in the end, what makes a platform succesful. Sun has always known that piece of truth. It was the 12,000+ Solaris Sparc applications of the Sun Catalyst in the 90's that made Sun come on top of the Unix vendors. This effort crossed over to the x64 platform since the release of Solaris 10; there are 7800+ applications certified on Solaris x64 to date, a fair portion of them driven by our porting & tuning work at ISV Engineering. We are now focusing our attention to OpenSolaris, working to make it a comprehensive & popular distribution --OpenSolaris already ranks 20-30 out of 300+ Linux distros on DistroWatch-- for the new kind of developers --open source, online social apps, etc. OpenSolaris e.g. now features the Sun Glassfish Web Stack, an integrated and optimized stack of popular open-source web-tier infrastructure technologies such as Apache HTTP server, MySQL, memcached, PHP and Ruby On Rails, that LAMP developers will enjoy.
As a commercial and/or open-source developer, do not miss out on the (Open)Solaris community. If your application is not listed in the BigAdmin Applications Library, publish your data directly on the Sun Software Library publishing interface. If you want to leverage OpenSolaris IPS as a channel of online delivery for your application, check out the Contrib Repository Process. If you are just starting with Solaris, register to Sun Partner Advantage to receive free technical support as you are porting your application.