Face Off: Sun issues open letter to IBM's Palmisano

Face Off: Sun issues open letter to IBM's Palmisano

Summary: Sun is ratcheting up the heat on IBM, with an open letter from Jonathan Schwartz to IBM CEO Sam Palmisano (text...

SHARE:
TOPICS: IBM
51

Sun is ratcheting up the heat on IBM, with an open letter from Jonathan Schwartz to IBM CEO Sam Palmisano (text below)

Topic: IBM

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

51 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Hold on a sec....

    >> They love that we can run linux apps unmodified.

    Um, OK, so if Solaris can run Linux apps unmodified, and IBM is doing the whole Linux push, then I have to assume the apps in question have not yet been ported to Linux. Perhaps IBM is simply completing the port to Linux? If not, seems it's in their best interests to do so.
    dragontiger
    • Linux Support

      Actually, IBM apps such as WebSphere Application Server V6 run on Linux (Redhat, Suse). They also run on Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 and I expect to see support for Solaris 10 on SPARC later this year. I don't expect to see support for Solaris 10 on x86.
      jeffet99
  • Strange tactic

    Sounds like the same thing a 3-year-old does to get its way. Starts out by asking, then demanding, then *whining*. Finally, there's the temper tantrum. All designed to coerce someone into doing something they don't want to (and may realize isn't in their or the 3-year-old's best interest). Maybe Schwartz will try the "hold his breath til he turns blue" ploy, too.

    I'm amazed that Sun feels so desparately that they need IBM this way. And I'm even more surprised customers are willing to go along with, and even applaud, this childish behavior.
    venve9
    • How is this different than IBM whining about Java?

      Care to enlighten me...
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Watch your code, Captialism in Progress

    No issues with me. The letter is just another form of capitalistic advertising. Nothing more and nothing less. If IBM doesn't want to play, they do not need to do so. Further, SUN can ask IBM to migrate software anytime and anyplace they want. This is what capitalism is all about. If you don't think it is fair or even handed, then maybe you spend too much time behind the terminal.
    BXLE
    • Buy a source license if it's so easy to port...

      If apps ported to Linux, like SAP, Tivoli, DB2, etc. can already run on Solaris what porting needs to be done?

      And if it's just a simple recompile to port from Sparc to X86, why not do the capitalist thing and take a source license and recompile it? How is IBM stopping them by not doing it for them?

      This argument sounds pretty weak to me. But most of what Schwartz says has a hollow ring in *my* ears.
      Still Lynn
      • Becaue IBM won't sell the source.

        Like many, you forget that IBM doesn't sell their source or license the source, only binaries.
        No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Have common sense!

    As far as I am aware, IBM does not develop applications to promote other company products. They develop s/w to support users who use its iron boxes. Instead of asking like beggers, Sun should have developed applications for its customers!
    Wagadonga
    • Common sense? You mean like IBM & Jave pleas?

      Same shoe, differnet foot...
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Brilliant, simply brilliant!

    Sun is taking a very interesting approach. Will it work? I doubt it. Why? Because IBM is exactly where it wants to be -- in a lucrative services business. They NEED to be able to lease OS software in order to support their high-overhead services business.

    Without that fixed income stream, IBM will find themselves competing in a commodities market!

    Just like Sun, IBM wants to see Linux go away because it cuts into their profit margins but IBM cannot afford for Linux to be replaced by Solaris on non-SPARC platforms as the commodities OS against which it must compete! Nor can IBM afford to port its own AIX product to a platform which is available at a discount at Wal-Mart.

    Sun, on the other hand, has always sold a product, not a service. They would love to see Linux killed off for the same reasons as IBM but their future is not dependent upon it! They can compete in any market on any platform -- especially if they can continue to collaborate with Microsoft along the way.

    On the other hand, if SCO prevails against IBM in court, IBM could very easily find itself without an OS for which to provide its highly lucrative services.
    M Wagner
    • Who has the axe - today?

      [On the other hand, if SCO prevails against IBM in court, IBM could very easily find itself without an OS for which to provide its highly lucrative services.]
      We're all waiting with bated breath, aren't we? Is Linux kernal 2.6 ready for primetime yet?
      stemcellphone
  • Why ask IBM and not Microsoft?

    Hmmm, why wasn't the same demand made to Microsoft? Could it be because they recently were the source of significant cash infusion for Sun?

    If IBM ports to Linux, and Solaris (and AIX) run Linux binaries, then the application runs on THREE operating systems. If applications are ported to Solaris, then that's a different codebase to maintain.

    If Sun can port their JVM/JRE to Windows, then Microsoft should port their apps (albeit crappy, inferior apps) to Solaris, but Sun has reasons not to ask Microsoft to do so.
    davidr69
    • Why do you assume they aren't?

      What makes you assume Microsoft isn't building a version of MS Office for Solaris 10? (Just as they do for Apple OS X.)
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • So when will Solaris be ported to power 5?

    Lets be fair, if Sun wants to level the playing field, they should port solaris to ibm's hardware.
    jimbo_z
    • When IBM allows it.

      Remember the license Dano...
      No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Sun has no motivation to port to Power 5

      While Solaris may run on x86 and the Sun owned SPArc, there has not been much call to port it to the Power architecture. The market has not called for this to happen as the Power architecture is mostly popular with the IBM/AIX, Apple crowd and some in the Linux and BSD growd... such that there may not really be much of a need for Solaris there too.

      Granted, this answer goes against what No_Ax has said, but there is some doubt that he has ever written or ported a multiuser, multitasking OS to anything himself (most people have not). Most non-technical people will make arguements that there is a licensing issue but there are already 2 "free" OS's on there already.
      B.O.F.H.
      • I beg your pardon?

        Are you suggesting Sun can recompile IBM's products without IBM's source code? That is what Sun is asking them to do voluntarily isn't it?

        As to the first part, I see a tremendous future for multiple OS's running on IBM's new CPUs, even Windows. (Think Xbox2 development.) Sun won't have a choice.


        GUESTIMATE:
        I may be out on a limb here but I see IBM's CPU's having a major run at Intel in the "New PC". With the knowledge they gain from working together with MS on running Windows on the Xbox building a full PC will be easy. Imagine a box that can run all the major OS's at a hardware level. IBM has spoken openly about having multiple virtual processors running mixed OSs on this CPU. Your talking a home run if they can pull it all off....
        No_Ax_to_Grind
        • No_Ax, read what was written!

          [i]Are you suggesting Sun can recompile IBM's products without IBM's source code? That is what Sun is asking them to do voluntarily isn't it?[/i]

          It is fairly obvious that Sun can not compile IBM's software (sans the Linux/GPL stuff) without the source code. Sun knows this as does IBM. It would be up to the party that owns the code to port it to the other architecture. PowerPC is a bi-endian architecture while SPArc is bigendian (iirc). All that would be required (if either poarty wanted to port their code) would be a cross-compiler (GCC for example). I thought you were smarter than that! My bad.

          [i]As to the first part, I see a tremendous future for multiple OS's running on IBM's new CPUs, even Windows. (Think Xbox2 development.) Sun won't have a choice.[/i]

          Multiple OS's already do run on IBM's CPU (AIX, Linux, Solaris, perhaps MacOSX). Microsoft used to run on the Power Architecture when they released Windows NT4. NT4 ran on Intel x86, PowerPC, MIPS and Alpha. They (Microsoft) dropped PowerPC and MIPS due to demand some time around SP2 or SP3 and dropped Alpha (fired a few thousand engineers and programmers in the Seattle area a few years back) when they dropped Alpha again due to customer demand. Sun has a choice, they run on 2 architectures but would need a crosscompiler and people that knew the Power Architecture to write a port (executables on Sparc don't run on i86 and vice versa so one has to write code thathas architecture flags in it, or write to a VM).

          btw, your guestimate is making a lot or executives, software engineers and programers at Microsoft laugh! Microsoft decides what their software will run on, not IBM or Sun or... Same with the XBox, Microsoft decides!
          B.O.F.H.
          • SBOH

            /Welcome to the Dark Side BOFH! Say Hello to the script HOST
            stemcellphone
  • ridiculous request.

    A ridiculous request. What possible reason could IBM have to want his apps to run on x86 Solaris. Its not even a market..
    mad-man