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 Solaris x86 Lives!

Sun is announcing the LX50, the first in a new category of systems from Sun that will run both Solaris x86 and Linux. These systems will ship with Solaris 8 x86 in September and Solaris 9 x86 early in 2003. We plan to resync the updates for Solaris 9 between x86 and SPARC with the second update release in December 2002. That means Solaris 9 x86 will be fully up to date at that time. We are also building the development kernel (that eventually becomes Solaris 10) in both SPARC and x86 architectures.

 (Submitted by Foo Tue Aug 13, 2002 )

  This is a verbatim email from Sun to the Solaris x86 Community sent last night.

This is an email I have wanted to write for a long time. Tomorrow Sun will make some clear and decisive announcements concerning Solaris x86 and it's future. I have divided this into 2 parts: the first that summarises what is being announced; the second is a scorecard which covers what you, the community and your elected representatives have told me you want Sun to do, lets see how I score against it:

What is being announced?

Sun is announcing the LX50, the first in a new category of systems
from Sun that will run both Solaris x86 and Linux. These systems
will ship with Solaris 8 x86 in September and Solaris 9 x86 early
in 2003. We plan to resync the updates for Solaris 9 between x86 and
SPARC with the second update release in December 2002. That means
Solaris 9 x86 will be fully up to date at that time. We are also
building the development kernel (that eventually becomes Solaris 10)
in both SPARC and x86 architectures.

Sun also announced that the Sun ONE stack and other Sun software
products
will be supported on both Solaris x86 and Linux. The full roadmap for
the availability of these products is yet available. My personal
expectation
is that we will have completed the roadmap before 12 months are up.

Now for the part that will be controversial with this group: Solaris 9
x86
will only be licensed for use on systems shipped by Sun. However, a new
program designed for the Solaris x86 community is planned for
announcement
in the near future. This means that we plan for you to be able to use
future Solaris x86 releases beyond Solaris 8 as part of a new program.
I'm planning to announce this to you all before the end of September.

Now for the score card.

1. Implement a profitable business model for Solaris x86 at Sun
The announcement that the LX50 from Sun runs Solaris x86 links the OS
to a larger revenue stream than was the case before. The sales channels,
both direct and indirect understands the business model and will be
equipped to sell Solaris x86 in volume. We have completed the sales
training, video/audio CDs, collateral websites, internal
announcements etc.

2. Include Solaris x86 configurations of the BigBear server

Done, same configs, same price, same included software as Linux. The
focus
for included software parity is Solaris 9. The list of software will be
indexed from the web page http://sun.com/intel
(also http://sun.com/solaris/lx50)
It's not clear to me yet if we will test all products on Solaris 8 x86
or not. We will be guided by business opportunities.

3. Include Solaris 9 x86 BigBear configurations

Done, early 2003 schedule.

4. Include support for all of Sun's modern software products on x86

Done. Roadmap will be available on Sun.com website. Some indications:
Sun ONE Directory already in Solaris 9 x86, Applications Server is a
key next target, as is the identity server. Though not a commitment, I
would expect to see all of the Sun ONE portfolio that is appropriate
to the LX50 to be completed within 12 months.

5. Sell Solaris x86 through bookstores (public and Edu)

No immediate plans to do this, given our renewed focus. However, we are
reviewing with the Sun Education line-of-business group what an optimal
program would look like. We will work with our customers to make the
right decisions here.

6. Return downloads of Solaris Intel at reasonable cost

Done back in May 2002, $20 per successful download.

7. Continue to build Solaris x86 future releases (e.g. Solaris 10)

Announcement 8/11 includes information that we are building development
kernels on both SPARC and x86 architectures.
8. Rename Solaris Intel Platform Edition back to Solaris x86

Name changed back to Solaris x86 effective immediately, will take
a little time to work through all the web sites and documentation.

9. Scream from the rooftops when Solaris x86 returns

I have been engaged in industry analyst briefings these past 2 weeks
and embargoed international press briefings more recently. We have
called a full court press conference in San Francisco and have conducted
call-downs to ensure a good turn out. I expect to see 80-100 press
reporters tomorrow at the briefings. We are also placing advertisements
and I believe we will include in Scott's keynote speech at Linux World

While I have addressed all of your issues above, there may be some aspects
that you may still be disappointed with. You wanted firm decisions, you now
have them. What is left is to work through the community and edu programs
and announce/ship them asap. That's our next work task, one I look forward
to.


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