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Sun Microsystems Portables Hardware

Toshiba To OEM Laptops With OpenSolaris 226

Posted by kdawson
from the good-news-for-lem-fans dept.
ruphus13 writes to tell us of Sun's latest attempt to drive OpenSolaris adoption. The company has inked a deal to pre-install OpenSolaris on Toshiba laptops. "Slowly but surely, major laptop vendors are taking to the idea of shipping systems with pre-loaded open source operating systems. The latest case in point is Toshiba — one of the longest-standing players in the market for portable computers — and its new plan to pre-install Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris on its laptops. The machines are supposed to ship in early 2009."
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Toshiba To OEM Laptops With OpenSolaris

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  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:10AM (#26172105)

    Why go with Solaris and not Linux?
    In terms of usability and functionality for a Laptop Solaris would be at a disadvantage to Linux and even Windows. Unless you job is to write and compile and or run Solaris X86 Apps. Then you are in general at a disadvantage to Linux which has more application written for it, communicates very well with Solaris Based Type Networks, As far as End User is concerned Linux and Solaris really look so much alike that it wouldn't be much of a learning curve.

    Solaris is superior as a server OS. But for a desktop Laptop OS... Why?

    • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:15AM (#26172149) Homepage

      2009 is the year of Solaris on the laptop!

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But since when do operating systems HAVE to follow Chinese Astrology?

      • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:25AM (#26172937)

        The point is brand dilution. With Solaris (and OpenSolaris no less) offered on laptops, the computer==windows mentality will soon be as dead as the internet=IE mentality. When you have 3 viable alternatives with the same feature set, (Star/OpenOffice, Webkit/Gecko, Unix) the idea that Windows is somehow the 'best' option begins to just be silly.

        For me, I can go to my friends and say, look, Sun, IBM, Novell, Canonical, and a ton of other companies have been pouring money into these free systems. These companies use them extensively. Have you honestly had such a fantastic experience with Microsoft that you want to stick with them when you have all these other options?

    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:21AM (#26172199) Homepage
      Sun wants OpenSolaris to expand into the desktop market and perhaps they paid Toshiba enough and or Toshiba trusts Sun to support the OS more than other companies.
      • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:10AM (#26172729) Journal

        I think you are right. I also think that OpenSolaris on a Toshiba laptop will be as popular as the Danger Hiptop (aka Sidekick from T-Mobile) has been. There are a lot of good things to say about Sun and Solaris and some bad things. What they do seem to be doing is moving to get some market share lost to Linux. It was not that long ago that you used Sun in the data center if you wanted reliable solid servers. It's not your only choice anymore. With Linux making inroads on the desktops of the world, Sun has a chance to move in and get some share without competing directly against MS. OpenSolaris is not that bad but has some limitations. With the Gnome desktop it looks more or less like any Linux OS. I have yet to see the SunBlade on my desk crater or act up. Rock solid operation.

        If Sun and Toshiba can translate that reputation to the laptop and make it usable for Joe Public, Sun will not only be impressive, but on their way toward being a player that everyone has to worry about again. In the business that Sun is in, good is not enough. They need to be the preferred supplier of many people. That has to be their goal, to become the preferred supplier of computer products.

        Hardware got really cheap, so x86 OpenSolaris is a smart move, a necessary one. Even Apple went there. They both should have anticipated it. If they get the app development further along, and morph their support systems to more or less match Linux distributions, they have a chance of regaining significant market share. Remember that the difference between new high end laptops and a data center server are decreasing every month. I don't think that Sun has any choice but to do this.

      • Sun wants OpenSolaris to expand into the desktop market and perhaps they paid Toshiba enough and or Toshiba trusts Sun to support the OS more than other companies.

        Desktop market, hahah.

        More likely these will be marketed as mobile workstations to the same small group of high-end users that keep Sun workstation business alive: Developers, CAD, GIS, and other traditional workstation apps.

        • My point is that Sun wants to push OpenSolaris into the desktop market to expand its user base.

          Sure the server market still important to them and just as they don't want to lose the high-end user either. But I think you will see more of a push for consumer desktop usage from Sun in the future. If you look at the following link you can see what they're working on for OpenSolaris' dekstop and I wouldn't have thought Compiz would be a must have for CAD users.

          http://opensolaris.org/os/community/desktop/ [opensolaris.org]
    • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:24AM (#26172223)

      But the CHOICE is the important part. I don't care if they offer linux, Open Solaris, freeBSD, or even Darwin, its great to see that OEM companies are realizing that having a choice is a good thing. We've seen what happens when there is only one choice. OpenSolaris will only get better on laptops over time with this. Because it is "Open" it will drive competition (and hopefully share new features) with linux. This will drive having more compatible hardware, and better drivers, and companies will realize its nice to not send a chunk of every sale to MS.

      • by Vellmont (569020)


        its great to see that OEM companies are realizing that having a choice is a good thing.

        I'm not sure I exactly agree with you. OEM companies don't really care about "choice", they care about selling laptops. What's good is that the market has opened up enough that OEMs think they might gain some sales by selling other operating systems. The choice of OpenSolaris puzzles me a little though. Solaris isn't exactly a large market, and as the OP pointed out it's not really a good desktop OS.

        The only thing I c

        • I'm not sure if it's that the OEMs think they can sell that many, it's that they think Microsoft can't stop them any more.

          We'll not know how many they could have sold before, because it's only recently that they've dared to try.

          Microsoft is like a castle under siege, there's an attack from Asus on one wall, then IBM on another, then Dell at the main gate, now Toshiba... Each wave is beaten back, but the defenders look increasingly shaky.

          • by Vellmont (569020)


            Microsoft is like a castle under siege, there's an attack from Asus on one wall, then IBM on another, then Dell at the main gate, now Toshiba... Each wave is beaten back, but the defenders look increasingly shaky.

            I don't agree that Asus, Dell and Toshiba really care a hell of a lot about taking down Microsoft. They sell hardware, Microsoft sells software. They really don't compete very much, and have traditionally been partners. The partnership is becoming a bit more shaky as it makes more sense for thos

            • I don't agree that Asus, Dell and Toshiba really care a hell of a lot about taking down Microsoft.

              Perhaps I overstated the case. But I'm sure they were never happy about Microsoft telling them what software they can and can't ship preinstalled.

              to the OEMs, the OS is just another component in the laptop/desktop/server. They don't really want to attack Microsoft any more than they want to attack Seagate.

              Seagate don't fine you if you put Hitachi disks in some of your machines. If they do, or ever did, the a

              • by drsmithy (35869)

                Seagate don't fine you if you put Hitachi disks in some of your machines. If they do, or ever did, the analogy is fair and I stand corrected.

                I would imagine if you've signed an exclusive supplier contract with Seagate and received a tidy discount for doing so, then Seagate find out you're putting Hitachi drives in their laptops, they'd be inclined to "fine" you (and quite justified in doing so).

                • I'm sure Seagate would give you the option of a non-exclusive contract. And there's more than one company you can buy hard drives from. Neither of those is the situation with Micrsoft and Windows.

                  But it was nice hearing from you, Bill.

                • by Vellmont (569020)


                  I would imagine if you've signed an exclusive supplier contract with Seagate and received a tidy discount for doing so, then Seagate find out you're putting Hitachi drives in their laptops, they'd be inclined to "fine" you (and quite justified in doing so).

                  I think the difference here is that hard-drives are a commodity, and operating systems are only just starting to become so. In other words most people don't really care (or even know) which HD you put in a machine. They do care which OS you put in the m

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jhines (82154)

      This is kind of a BS argument, in that other than the kernel what is different between the two? Both Linux and Opensolaris run the same open source desktop, and applications.

      • by Rutulian (171771)

        You do realize that the kernel is the single most important component of the operating system, right? Saying that the kernel is the only thing that is different is like saying the only difference between a Ford and a Chevy is the engine.

        ...Yes, I just used a car analogy.... \sigh\

    • by scubamage (727538) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:56AM (#26172553)
      Layer 8 types have heard of Solaris, and Sun Microsystems. Its more marketable than 'pure' linux because there is a large company supporting it, as opposed to an amorphous community which technically doesn't have anything really tying it together beyond the OS. As anyone whose ever pushed for open source adoption to an executive board will know, that's a real fear. Yes its cheaper, but what if there's no support? What if the website for the project goes down (as has happened with thousands of open source projects) and the forums go with it. Support dissapears. Yes there is enterprise linux, but I think a lot of the outsider view is still tainted by that idea of volatility.
      • by digitalhermit (113459) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:43AM (#26173153) Homepage

        Its more marketable than 'pure' linux because there is a large company supporting it, as opposed to an amorphous community which technically doesn't have anything really tying it together beyond the OS.

        True.. "Pure" Linux is an amorphous mass. But just compare *ONE* Linux company (RedHat) to Sun in terms of market cap:

        Sun [yahoo.com]
        RedHat [yahoo.com]

        And RedHat just represents *ONE* Linux company. There are many out there. IBM and Oracle both support Linux. Linux has a much larger commercial support base than does Solaris or OpenSolaris.

        • by scubamage (727538)
          I agree completely, actually. I am simply saying that there seems to be a sort of stigma with linux that it is unrefined and unsupported because of its community roots. Solaris and other 'true' unix breeds have had corporate backing their entire lifetimes, whereas linux started with a crazy bearded man named Stallman and a geeky, somewhat self absorbed kernel hacker named Torvalds. They see 'linux,' they don't see the fact that it's an actual supported OS now. First impressions were kinda fumbled :(
        • by mal0rd (323126)

          And RedHat just represents *ONE* Linux company. There are many out there. IBM and Oracle both support Linux. Linux has a much larger commercial support base than does Solaris or OpenSolaris.

          You seem to have ignored your own reasoning that we shouldn't think of "Linux" as a whole, but just one distro at a time. Oracle doesn't support "Linux", they support one distribution: "Oracle Unbreakable Linux". Now the market penetration and package availability of their distro is not comparable to RedHat. Hence, Solaris has a much larger "commercial support base" for people who care about Oracle.

      • If your Boss hasn't heard of Linux they probably havn't heard of Solaris. Unless they are within 5 years of retirement. That statement would be true back in 1998-2003 After that Linux is really known buy the business folks. Heck even the MBA programs talk about Linux (the Good and Bad at a business level)... But don't say anything about. Solaris, with perhaps with a prefix of Legacy Systems such as...

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        "an amorphous community which technically doesn't have anything really tying it together beyond the OS"

        How about love?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1TZaElTAs [youtube.com]

    • by digitalhermit (113459) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:27AM (#26172965) Homepage

      Solaris is superior as a server OS. But for a desktop Laptop OS... Why?

      I loved Solaris too. Knowing SunOS paid for my first house and first car. I used to maintain multiple enterprise systems all by my lonesome self. This included a mass of 450s and a couple 6500s.

      Unfortunately, Sun seems to have lost their mojo. Solaris was once much better, much more reliable than Linux. When LVM was still trashing LVs under capacity loads, Sun had super-stable Veritas file systems. When Linux were marvelling at 4-processor systems, Sun was pushing out 64-way machines. At the time, Linux NFS was non-standard and failed under high load. Sun's NFS implementation was rock solid.

      Then PCs grew up. And Linux grew up along with it.

      There's a well-known chart that talks about the reason why Microsoft continues to add features (and bloat) to their products. The reason is competition. If they don't add features, then other products with fewer features can become "good enough" for what a user (er, consumer) needs. If Microsoft didn't continually add new features, users will ask themselves why they are paying a price premium for something they can do for free or at a much reduced cost.

      But Sun went on another track. They decided they didn't want to court that rapidly advancing Linux horde. They missed out on the low-end server market by casting doubt on the future of their x86 Solaris product. They started hoarding their IP portfolio, forgetting their history. In all this time, Linux was getting "good enough".

      Good enough, in fact, to steal away the web server market. Good enough to steal away the edge-of-network market. Good enough to steal away the low-end database market. Good enough to steal away the high-end workstation market. All these were Sun's markets. All gone. I know this because I used Sun boxes in these capacities.

      At my company the last enterprise Sun box went away almost 18 months ago. We're pushing Linux to supplement our AIX systems now. And Linux excels. It's stable. It's supported. It's cheap. And it's doing what the Sun box did for $50,000 more.

      • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@davidge ... k ['co.' in gap]> on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:22PM (#26173629) Homepage

        Depends. We use a lot of Sun boxes and a lot of Dell boxes. Solaris 10 on a Sun box (even an x86) is way easier to administer than Linux - particularly when things go wrong. The OS indicates problems very nicely in messages and syslog, better than RHEL does.

        The downside is that modern open source software is too often written by coders who think "cross-platform" means "works on Fedora and Ubuntu."

        So we end up doing things like running Solaris 10 on Dell boxes and RHEL on Sun servers ;-)

        Sun's hardware is competitively priced and their service is really good (I'm in London), so we're very happy to stay with Sun boxes even running Linux.

      • Great historical perspective. I entirely agree. It was especially sad to watch as Sun wobbled for years around Solaris on x86.

        But Sun was primarily a hardware business. The SPARC platform was supposed to dominate the market, not that bastard child of a 16-bit partitioned memory CPU called x86. I don't think that Sun engineers, or management, could really believe that x86 was worth troubling about.
    • by 0racle (667029)
      Two things. First, OpenSolaris is being created to be as desktop friendly as Fedora or Ubuntu. It's not exactly like they're shipping Solaris with nothing but CDE as a desktop. Second, done properly an app written on Solaris or Linux would compile and run on the other. As in, not writing to Linuxisms and using standards instead. Complaining that Linux has so much more apps then OpenSolaris does is the same as complainging that Linux has so many more programs then FreeBSD does. An app that runs on Linux and
    • Why? Because some people are used to running Solaris on the desktop. I switched to Linux a few years ago, and that's fine, for me. But prior to that I'd been using Solaris for about ten years.

      In my experience, pretty much anything that traditionally compiles for Linux will also compile for Solaris. So if you can type "configure; make; make install" you'll probably survive. The main exception is window environment libraries. Best to get them precompiled.
    • "In terms of usability and functionality for a Laptop Solaris would be at a disadvantage to Linux"

      You must not have seen a modern Solaris 10 system. I use both Linux and Solaris. You have to know what you are doing to tell the two a part. A casual user would notice. Solars now uses the same Gnome desktop as Fedora and except for cosmetics the desktops is the same, not "close" but the same.

      Now once you get under the hood you find the same GNU utilities and gcc compiler, the same Apache and FTP severs and

    • Unless you job is to write and compile and or run Solaris X86 Apps. Then you are in general at a disadvantage to Linux which has more application written for it,

      99% of linux apps work fine with no modifications on Solaris.

      communicates very well with Solaris Based Type Networks,

      Not sure, but I'd think Solaris would communicate better on "Solaris Based Type Networks" than pretty much any other operating system.

      As far as End User is concerned Linux and Solaris really look so much alike that it wouldn't be much of a learning curve.

      I agree with you here...

    • by fm6 (162816)

      You sort of answer your own question in the last sentence of your post. Yes, Solaris is a superior server OS. But, by itself, that's not enough to get IT managers to choose Solaris over Linux or Windows. There has to be a big pool of developers with Solaris expertise. Otherwise those IT managers won't be able to hire the in-house Solaris experts, or buy Solaris applications from ISVs. Sun's strategy here is to get Solaris into the hands of as many budding software geeks as possible, hoping that they'll turn

  • Selling point?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stupido (1353737)

    What exactly is the selling point here? I can see how ZFS is enticing for servers, and perhaps a narrow range of power users, but most FOSS stuff is more work to install on Solaris (Open or otherwise).

    Perhaps on a two-harddisk laptop ZFS is an interesting option.

    • by The Moof (859402)
      I think someone's previous comment hit the nail on the head: Solaris has the backing of Sun, a large corporation. It's capable of providing OS support to end-users.

      Linux, BSD, etc normally has a "RTFM/Consult the community" approach, which doesn't really work for the average user.
    • by Zemplar (764598)

      What exactly is the selling point here? I can see how ZFS is enticing for servers, and perhaps a narrow range of power users, but most FOSS stuff is more work to install on Solaris (Open or otherwise).

      Perhaps on a two-harddisk laptop ZFS is an interesting option.

      You obviously have no idea what you are talking about or have never used OpenSolaris, ZFS, IPS, zones, SMF, or any of the enticing feature OpenSolaris possesses that Linux doesn't have. Besides, if nothing else, Toshiba selling an OpenSolaris laptop might not be the #1 choice for home users, but is at least an interesting alternative to larger corporate customers.

  • Webcams seem to be high on the list of laptop users of today. Does OpenSolaris have many webcam drivers? Or maybe they went with the simple solution. Include a webcam and have a driver ready for it.

    • by Zemplar (764598)
      The likely target audience to wide deployment of OpenSolaris laptops are probably prohibited from possessing laptops with web cameras built-in. You'd be surprised how many large corporations and government organizations don't allow cameras of any sort on the premises.
      • What kinds of phones do these people use?

        Last phone I bought, I didn't have a *choice*. Which is really quite obnoxious, when you think about it. I never use my camera phone, yet my Treo 600, 650 700, Sony w810i and Apple iPhone 3G have always been saddled with them.

        • by Zemplar (764598)
          And all of those phones you mentioned would not be permitted on the premises. Most uses have a Blackberry phone models w/o built-in cameras.
          • Interesting. I had never realized until just now that Blackberry phones can be acquire sans camera.

            I don't suppose they would accept a drilled-out camera as no-camera?

            (if it was my security policy, I would not. But I am curious as to what others think)

  • yeah riiight. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:29AM (#26172263)
    the next obvious move?

    MS to scrap the OEM tax and instead install an OS that is free for 30 days and then asks you to did into your wallet and type in a credit card number.

    MS will never allow this to continue without a fight, they drop the prices or allowed older operating systems anywhere they can to ensure machines are shipped with their OS.

    It seems clear that threatening OEMS with more a expensive windows tax if they do not cooperate is becoming less effective these days.

    They might even give the OS away free if they have no choice at all and get money back on cloud, upgrades, applications and web services. But I cannot see them ever willingly accepting PCs sold in large numbers without windows.
    • Re:yeah riiight. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by enharmonix (988983) <enharmonix+slashdot@gmail.com> on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:55AM (#26172543)

      They might even give the OS away free

      Frankly, I've always wondered why they don't.

      • Most users aren't really clear on the concept of an operating system. They know Windows is on their PC, but don't really understand what it does (and what it doesn't do) or that there are alternatives. They probably don't even realize they're paying for it when they buy a computer.
      • It's a platform, and platforms generally have a low barrier to entry. Java is free. .NET is free (as in beer). The web is free. Console makers sell consoles at a loss (at first, anyway) because the real money is in software sales. MS never charged me for my Xbox dashboard update, so why would I want to pay for the same thing on my computer?

      Who knows, if Microsoft can't convince people to move on from XP, it very well might end up free. Of course, I would also like to see Windows open-sourced, and that's never gonna happen, so hey. In a perfect world, anyway...

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        Windows sales (OEM and customer) are about 30% of their bottom line.

        They would have to be very brave to give away Windows licenses.

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Frankly, I've always wondered why they don't.

        Because they don't need to.

        Yet, anyway. Rest assured that when the time comes, Microsoft will give Windows away for free before they start conceding significant marketshare to Linux.

        Anyway, for most people Windows *is* "free". They get it as part of their computer and they only "upgrade" when they get a newer version with a new computer. The proportion of end users who buy Windows at retail is vanishingly small.

    • by Sockatume (732728)
      Asking OEM consumers to pay upfront for Windows is the one thing MS will not do. It makes people think "hey, maybe there's a way to do this for free..."
    • by Rolgar (556636)

      The thing about the 'expensive Windows tax' is, all of the major OEMs are now shipping non-Windows machines. That mean, every OEM should be paying the higher price, if it still exists. Which will only serve to drive up the cost of Windows for their customers. That either creates a larger price discrepancy between the Windows and non-Windows box, or the OEM will make more money by keeping the cost of the Linux machine similar to the Windows machine, which will encourage the OEM to sell even more non-Windo

    • the next obvious move?

      MS to scrap the OEM tax and instead install an OS that is free for 30 days and then asks you to did into your wallet and type in a credit card number.

      I think you're right. In fact, it's so obvious, they've done it already [microsoft.com] for Office 2007 - OEM preinstalls a trial version on every PC he buys, and the user can either activate it online with a credit card, or buy a serial number directly from that OEM (which is where the latter is supposed to get his cut from). I've got such a thing on a

    • by fm6 (162816)

      I like the idea, but it's never going to happen. Unless, maybe, our new Obamoid Overlords decide to revive the antitrust action that the Bushians killed.

  • Wonderful... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brad_McBad (1423863) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:30AM (#26172283)
    But I have a feeling it won't last long... OpenSolaris is even more niche that FreeBSD. Once it's obvious the cost of giving people the choice is more than the the extra business it brings in it'll get dropped like a stone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by swordgeek (112599)

      Speaking as someone who lives and breathes in the Solaris world...

      True enough that it's a niche market, but let's not forget that Linux was just as small (if not smaller) of a niche some time ago. Also, OpenSolaris ties directly into developers for back-end enterprise software--there's a lot of gear running Solaris out there!

      But I have to ask: What _is_ the 'cost of giving people the choice'? Assuming that Toshiba has set up the environment to efficiently install OpenSolaris on their boxes, it's a matter of

      • by Rutulian (171771)

        But I have to ask: What _is_ the 'cost of giving people the choice'?

        Well, support (including testing and troubleshooting), marketing, and Microsoft strong-arming come to mind. I applaud and desire choice, but it is rarely as simple as having an extra install disc lying around the deployment factory.

    • by rbanffy (584143)

      OpenSolaris has a lot going for it.

      It has a Gnome desktop, an APT-like package manager and a userland that rivals most Linuxes.

      And, while thatÂs not as important in notebooks, ZFS is a real killer FS (unlike Reiser 4)

  • I bet customs will have some fun trying to look at all of your files on that thing. I've only played around with OpenSolaris for a few hours in a virtual machine, but from what I've seen, it's locked down pretty tight.
  • by CSHARP123 (904951) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:55AM (#26172541)
    I feel bad for Microsoft. They are getting hit from multiple quarters. Dell wants to ship Linux with laptops and now toshiba with Open solaris. Apple is expanding their notebook sales. In this economy, people need to protect our flagship company. I think this can solved by govt. by providing a bailout package of $30 billion to MS. Please call your representatives and senators so they can save our Flagship company.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by knails (915340)
      Ok, I know you're being facetious, but the Big 3 automakers really need it. I live in mid-Michigan, and I know to what extent the automakers' influence on the economy here is. If they go down, they're taking a large part of the state with them. Even if they don't go down, they've already cut large numbers of employees and cut production. This mostly due to the republicans in congress and Bush's lack of support and willingness to help pull them out. The extent of damages due to their delay has yet to be seen
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by javacowboy (222023)

        I know this is *totally* off-topic, but why should the car companies get an unconditional bailout? They'll just burn through the cash in a few months anyways.

        Since people aren't buying new cars anymore, what we need is to use those factories to build things other than cars, like windmills and solar panels.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PitaBred (632671)

        What needs to go down is the fucking unions. They're bleeding the companies dry, they're the reason that GM/Ford/etc. can't compete with Toyota and Honda and Subaru.

      • Even if they don't go down, they've already cut large numbers of employees and cut production. This mostly due to the republicans in congress and Bush's lack of support and willingness to help pull them out. The extent of damages due to their delay has yet to be seen, but it affects literally millions of people.

        The Big 3 have had major problems for decades, and it's Bush's fault? It looks to me like he's is the biggest friend they've got right now, to the tune of $17,400,000,000.00 -- approximately the ent

    • by fm6 (162816)

      I feel bad for Microsoft.

      Not too bad, I hope. Despite the bad economy, their income last quarter was about $15 billion, up $2 billion from the same quarter in 2007.

    • by rbanffy (584143)

      "I feel bad for Microsoft"

      I don't. Let them die.

  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by javacowboy (222023)

    Nobody's asking the right questions.

    1) Why is Toshiba doing this? This will make them money either directly (Sun is paying them with either money or services) or indirectly (Toshiba wants to get a better deal from Microsoft).

    2) Why is Sun doing this? I think they want to drive adoption of OpenSolaris among the open source developers that would normally use Linux. The low-hanging fruit is probably Java devs like me who would otherwise prefer to use Linux.

    The market for developer workstations is not small,

  • Maybe the next bios patch for my Toshiba will not completely fux Linux access to hardware again. Do I dare chance it? They might even have re-enabled VT. I'm soooo tempted. But the last 4 times I had to rebuild, hack, and rebuild to get hardware to work again. But if they are going to support OpenSolaris... But what if my fears are correct and the bios update makes my machine a Vista only POS. I'm soooo torn.

    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/warning-there-is-windows-in-my..-bios-5447 [linuxquestions.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      The stupid in those links burns my eyes.

      The first link means that the Bios had a bug that only shows up in Vista. They released a fix but didn't test with XP and because of that they only recomended Vista users to upgrade. Or maybe they tested with XP and something broke. Still if they tell people using XP not to upgrade, don't complain if upgrading breaks shit. There is no conspiracy. Companies 'not supporting' something means they haven't tested it and don't guarantee it works, not that they've sabotaged

  • I bet Sun is 'paying' for this with a guarentee of a minimum customer base - expect to see Toshiba notebooks in the hallways at Sun facilities. Right now I see allot Macs running Solaris at Sun facilities and most Sun employees have XP installed on their non-Mac notebooks.

    I like Solaris but there is essentially zero market demand for Solaris on notebooks.

  • by Lord Crowface (1315695) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:28AM (#26172983)

    I'm typing this from OpenSolaris 2008.11 and I'm actually surprised how "desktop-friendly" Solaris has actually become. The default GNOME-based desktop is gorgeous and works well. Hardware support may not be all that broad, but when hardware is supported it's REALLY supported: even booting off the live CD, my Atheros wireless card, NVidia 3D card and crappy on-mobo sound were "auto-magically" detected and set up. Performance is also quite snappy, even on my aging Athlon XP 3000+ with a measly 1 GB of RAM. In short, OpenSolaris is more than up to the task of working on Toshiba's new laptops.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dkalley (776724)
      OpenSolaris is up to the task on old Toshiba laptops also. I have 2008.11 running on an old Toshiba Satellite 1135-S1553 and haven't had any problems. I really didn't expect everything to work so I was pretty happy with the install.
  • just remember... (Score:3, Informative)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:31AM (#26173009)
    Just remember

    svcadm disable nwam <br>
    svcadm enable network/physical:default

    That will fix most of the problems you will run into with Solaris. Other than that, it's a solid OS. Why they would put that Network Auto-Magic shit in, I have no clue.

  • by itomato (91092) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:07PM (#26173443)

    Seriously:

    If I could have Solaris as an option, I would take it. There's a justifiable niche here.. Solaris is a supported alterna-UNIX with class
    leading development tools.

    If OpenSolaris provided the second-best iPhone application development environment, it would be strong enough to justify the move.

    If Sun takes the opportunity to bundle and better integrate OpenOffice with their new Enterprise Desktop, and add all sorts of security and platform robustness choices, it might have a chance.

    There's enough technology present in Solaris to make a reasonable case for allowing it to compete against the much unloved Vista for Business, especially when Linux has taken the first wave of public criticism (Eee PC, Ubuntu, et al.)

    If they can somehow coordinate a "Shake 'n' Bake" style maneuver with Apple (iPhone/Solaris/Dev with Apple/Sun/ZFS backend and iPhone integration) it could be a very good thing.

    Apple will never take the Corporate Desktop summit, and I seriously believe they have stopped caring. Perhaps Sun recognizes this as well.

    • by Zemplar (764598) on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:29PM (#26174391) Journal
      I use OpenSolaris for development on my ThinkPad T61 laptop and it's an excellent platform and ideal combination. For one required Windows development app (project dependent), I run XP as a VirtualBox VM and it works better and faster than if XP were installed to bare metal. ZFS is really slick. Turning ZFS compression=on means more laptop hard drive space AND faster performance since the HDDs are relatively slow (even my 320GB 7,200 rpm) and now having to read/write less to disk.

      Sun's new packaging system, IPS, and the new repositories are growing with software selections and software is as easy to manage as Debian's apt-get.

      Anyone here that thinks OpenSolaris will fail obviously hasn't used it. Give it a try and I bet a large portion of you Slashdot Linux zealots will move to OpenSolaris or at least give it the respect it deserves.
  • Really, I personally think OpenSolaris is coming along quite nicely since Ian Murdock is managing things but that's a different comment.

    If they can make a toshiba laptop suspend and hybernate flawlessly that would be awesome. Maybe I'll even make the switch. Unix is Unix.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @10:53AM (#26183661)

    I had xubuntu 8.1 running om my old HP ze4220 with 512mb or ram, and 1.7ghz celuron processor. I decided to try opensolaris 2008.5.

    Xunbuntu won hands down, in every measurable way. I could never get music, or movies, to play on opensolaris. Also, I was never able to read .chm file on opensolaris. Xubuntu was also faster to install, and booted up faster. Opensolaris was not terrrible, it just wasn't as nice as xubuntu.

    Neither OS could detect my wireless NIC. XP runs noticeably faster than either xubuntu or opensolaris, and xp does detect my wireless nic.

    Again, just my experience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zemplar (764598)
      MAJOR work has been done in OpenSolaris 2008.11 (now available) to support a wider array of hardware since even the 2008.05 release. There's a good chance your wireless device will now be supported on OpenSolaris out-of-the-box, as they say.

      Due to licensing restrictions, of which most people forget MP3 is proprietary, you need to get a license to download the MP3 GStreamer plugin on OpenSolaris. The license is free from Fluendo's website [fluendo.com], but requires registration. Registration, downloading, and insta

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