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Oracle kills OpenSolaris efforts

Oracle has cancelled development work on its open source OpenSolaris operating system, citing a desire to focus its efforts on the commercial version instead.

Oracle kills OpenSolaris efforts
Oracle bought Sun Microsystems and all its related assets in January 2010 for a reported $7.4 billion.

An e-mail sent to a US software engineer has confirmed what many industry insiders have been suggesting for some time - that the OpenSolaris open source operating system is no more.

In a post on his blog, Athens, Georgia-based engineer Steven Stallion reprinted an internal e-mail which he claims was sent to all OpenSolaris engineers working on the project. In it, the company explains that it intends to focus all its resources on the 2011 release of enterprise-focused Solaris 11, which are designed to run on the servers it sells based on the technology from the January acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

"We will distribute updates to approved CDDL or other open source-licensed code following full releases of our enterprise Solaris operating system. In this manner, new technology innovations will show up in our releases before anywhere else. We will no longer distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis," the e-mail stated.

However, there will be still one additional release - a developer focused edition, Solaris 11 Express, which will be released before the end of the year, and which the firm hopes will drive adoption of the full Solaris 11 when it debuts next year. 

Among the reasons Oracle cited was a lack of resources, and a desire to protect its IP from potential exposure to rivals.

"We can't do everything. The limiting factor is our engineering bandwidth measured in people and time. So we have to ensure our top priority is driving delivery of the #1 Enterprise Operating System, Solaris 11, to grow our systems business; and (2) We want the adoption of our technology and intellectual property to accelerate our overall goals, yet not permit competitors to derive business advantage (or FUD) from our innovations before we do," the e-mail continued.

The move was met with shock and dismay from developer Stallion, who wrote: "This is a terrible sendoff for countless hours of work for quality software which will now ship as an Oracle product that we (the original authors) can no longer obtain on an unrestricted basis.

"I can only maintain that the software we worked on was for the betterment of all, not for any one company's bottom line. This is truly a perversion of the open source spirit," he continues.

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