Sun Microsystems took another big step towards reinventing itself as an open source software, systems and services company by announcing that key software tools will in the future be provided at no cost to developers and others.
Sun began offering customers its Solaris operating system as free open source software earlier this year, said it will now provide its Java Enterprise System, Sun N1 Management software, and Sun developer tools available at no cost for both development and deployment.
Sun also said it is integrating all of this software along with the Solaris operating system into the Solaris Enterprise System, to form what it claims is, “the only comprehensive and open infrastructure software platform available today.”
This is a head on attack to Microsoft Windows, apps and tools as was as Linux plus apps and tools. This looks shrewd. By getting the sun O/S and development tools, with Java, out to the wider community they should drive greater demand for their enterprise applications as well as their servers. They genuinly could become the open source competitor of choice to Miscrosoft if they move fast and get it right.
My money's on Sun making an interesting transition to a company based more on software and services rather than proprietary boxes. The question deep down is do they have the scale to pull this off. And if not, who should they merge with? How about Google - now there's a curve ball!!