Oct 09, 2004
5:30 AM EST
|Reading a lot of material direct from Sun, I'm left with the strong impression that there is no one Sun, there are at least two major competing factions within it, one of which loves Linux and FOSS and another of which regards them as a necessary evil. From outside, it looks like a marriage of convenience rather than true love.
The FOSS friendlies appear to have so far kept the expediency crowd from shooting themselves in the foot (or head, have it your way), but Microsoft would love to see their moderating influence end, for at least three big reasons and many small: to watch a competitor in the server software market self-destruct, to rob the wind from Java's sails (in principle to make more market space for dotNyet), and to obliterate OpenOffice (and, secondarily, StarOffice - to stop the downhill slide of MS-Office's market share).
This is worrisome when you look at the reasons for Sun chumming up to Microsoft and vice versa. Sun hopes to stay alive through dire financial straits and will hang off Microsoft's arm if that's what it takes (but they haven't had the wedding night yet); Microsoft has zero obvious positive reasons for smooching with Sun, and many obvious hostile reasons.
Happily for ABM (Anything But Microsoft), Sun's demise won't kill OpenOffice - apart from the GPL behind it, many big contributors including arch-enemy IBM are now pumping resources into improving OO - and there are several competitors flourishing in its shadow (e.g. have you use KOffice recently?). Nor will it kill Java (not with IBM and others pushing it big time). However the industry in general will be a poorer place for Sun's absence, current chronic MPD notwithstanding.
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