Smart Partner: Two Rivals, One Destination

“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.”