In his latest blog, Sun COO and president Jonathan Schwartz takes a shot at Dell and then gets down to GPL3 business:
With that volume building, you've no doubt seen that HP has joined ranks with IBM to support Solaris on their x64 platforms - creating even more options, and leaving only one tier 1 vendor (based in Texas, rhymes with swell) without a committed Solaris support plan.... We also recognize that diversity and choice are important - which is why we've begun looking at the possibility of releasing Solaris (and potentially the entire Solaris Enterprise System), under dual open source licenses. CDDL (which allows customer IP to safely comingle with Solaris source code) and under the Free Software Foundation's GPL3....as a large GPL contributor, we want to do what we can to drive more efficiency and cross-pollination between Linux and OpenSolaris.... Second, bear in mind we've yet to pick the open source license under which the core intellectual property behind our multi-threaded Niagara systems will ship (although we're biasing to GPL).
The cross-pollination comment really caught my eye. The license under which OpenSolaris is currently distributed -- the CDDL -- prevents that sort of cross-pollination. Earlier this year, I wrote about how the CDDL/GPL incompatibility and the 1600 patents that Sun released to CDDL licenses. The incompatibility seemed, by design, to try to draw Linux developers to a safer haven (intellectual property-wise). The open source community saw through the move and even though Sun gave it an inch, the community demanded a mile. Now, under the auspices of the GPL3, the community might finally get what it wanted.