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Smart Partner: Two Rivals, One Destination

Sep 08, 2000, 19:56 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Eric Carr)

"From symmetric multiprocessing to high-end RISC performance, IBM and Sun have invested millions in their respective Unix products to meet the most demanding customer needs. Most recently, IBM CEO Lou Gerstner and Sun CEO Scott McNealy have hitched a ride with the Linux parade. It's sure to be an interesting trip. Both companies hope to maintain certain proprietary advantages, while opening up their respective Unixes just enough to support mainstream Linux tools and user interfaces...."

"Thanks to numerous Unix providers, the Linux penguin is moving rapidly from the igloo to the glass house."

"Take IBM, which plans to ship AIX 5L (yep, the "L" stands for Linux) this fall. This version includes a Linux Execution Environment, which offers source-level compatibility for AIX/PowerPC systems. It also includes binary compatibility for AIX/IA-64 (Intel Itanium) programs. IBM calls it "Linux Affinity." IBM also is porting its middleware to Linux."

"As for Sun Microsystems, it is scrapping the Common Desktop Environment user interface for a Gnome-based alternative. (Hewlett-Packard is taking similar steps with HP-UX.) Embracing Gnome gives Solaris more than a facelift. Gnome includes everything from programming libraries to Sun's Star Office desktop office suite. For most practical purposes, neither an administrator nor a user will be able to tell if it's running Red Hat Linux or Solaris under the hood-assuming the Gnome promise is fully realized."

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