Oracle tightens its grip on Solaris

OpenSolaris logo

Oracle appears to be tightening its hold on the Solaris Unix operating system, according to a leaked internal message.

The email effectively announced the death of the OpenSolaris project, in favour of the proprietary version, now that Sun Microsystems is part of Oracle.

The memo stated: "All of Oracle's efforts on binary distributions of Solaris technology will be focused on Solaris 11. We will not release any other binary distributions, such as nightly or bi-weekly builds of Solaris binaries, or an OpenSolaris 2010.05 or later distribution."

Oracle will now focusing on commercial releases of Solaris. The next release will be Solaris 11, due to appear next year. Solaris Express will be released later this year; this is effectively a free beta version of Solaris 11 for application developers to work with.

Oracle hopes to persuade companies currently using OpenSolaris to move across to Solaris Express, and then upgrade to Solaris 11 in 2011.

The company sees the acquisition of Sun as a chance to expand the sale of its servers and other products.

The company wrote: "The growth opportunity for Solaris has never been greater. As one example, Solaris is used by about 40 per cent of Oracle's enterprise customers, which means we have a 60 per cent growth opportunity in our top customers alone."

On the forum, contributor Mike Kerpan wrote: "So, OpenSolaris is officially dead... They're no longer providing even read-only access to the live' source code (only rare dumps of release products); no longer have any interest in community contribution; and also reserve the right to maintain complete radio silence, as it were, on any new features that they might be working on.

"This sounds to me like they're planning on following the Apple/Darwin model here, rather than the Sun model. This really is a sad day," he concluded.