Solaris Becomes First(?) Casualty of Oracle Takeover

April 3, 2010

One of the first casualties of the Oracle takeover of Sun appears to be the Solaris Operating System, with the license now only allowing a 90 day free trial, after which, you must purchase a support package or stop using the OS.

Solaris is a Unix based operating system, first developed by Sun during the nineties. Bundled with its own special hardware, Sun sold licenses and support packages for Solaris up until 2005, when they started allowing people to use it for free, while still offering support packages. In large part, this was because competition from Linux became very heavy.

Now, only a few short months since Oracle took over Sun, some of the first fallout becomes clear, as a small change, reported by Info World, was made to the Solaris License Agreement makes using the software without purchasing enterprise support illegal:

Please remember, your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded Software.

How this will affect existing customers remains to be seen, but it appears that it is not retroactive.

This is not terribly surprising, given Oracles Business Model, yet it is quite disappointing. With the future of other assets, such as Open Office, Virtualbox, and Mysql in the hands of Oracle, it is not a stretch to think that we might soon loose these as well, with only the “Enterprise” versions, not the open source versions, being updated.



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