Sun Microsystems had spent several years trying to build up a positive relationship with the OpenSource Community and Oracle wiped a good chunk of it away with one simple announcement. One that in the long run will hurt Oracle and probably kill the Solaris Operating System. Oracle seems to be missing the point of OpenSource and have been for years. Larry and his crew want to own and control everything from your OS to your Corporate Finical records. The problem is once something is in the open like Solaris was/is taking it back will never win you any friends in the Open Source community. It will likely mean that Solaris will be put out to pasture shortly if not Discontinued all together.
While market share of Solaris has been falling to Linux over the past decade it still had it’s place in the data center. Sun created large amounts of tweaks to that OS to make it work with their hardware in incredible ways. What was once the OS that ran the biggest sites on the Net may now be the OS of Oracle. Forget Larry Linux folks he wants to own and control it all. What they don’t realize is that the community can fix their problems for free and keep Solaris viable for years to come. When Sun made the move and actually open sourced it it provided a boost to the dieing OS because now companies new they could at the least get the Source Code and fix their own problems even if Sun failed or stopped supporting it for finical reasons. If Oracle follows through and does close the source back up what are it’s chances of survival? With the extremely small number of Solaris customers today compared to 2000 how many more customers will abandon the platform to Linux? The Linux Community is strong and it’s growing. The rivalry was really helping both platforms.