Looking to steal thunder from the Linux juggernaut or at least catch the same wave, Sun plans to release binaries in Spring 2008 for its OpenSolaris Unix platform, similar to how Linux is offered, as part of the company's Project Indiana. Sun officials discussed the effort at a meeting in San Francisco on Thursday. The company wants to mimic the Linux distribution model as a way to grow the market for Solaris. "Over the last five or 10 years, orders of magnitude more people in the world know Linux environment than know Solaris. This is a problem," said Ian Murdock, Sun's chief OS strategist and a former CTO of the Linux Foundation.
Having already offered up Solaris to open source via the OpenSolaris project, Sun will expand its proselytizing of the platform by releasing binaries. Project Indiana seeks to combine what Sun described as the best of Solaris -- its enterprise-class capabilities, innovation, and backward compatibility -- with the best of Linux -- its distribution model, community, and its being free and open source. "Even with open source, the binary platform is the key thing of value," said Murdock.