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TechWeb: Sun, Cobalt Deal Puts Linux In Spotlight

Sep 20, 2000, 16:16 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Barbara Darrow, Mark Hachman)

"Sun Microsystems' surprise move to buy Linux appliance vendor Cobalt Networks has caused jaws to drop in the technology community. ... "The really odd thing about this is they don't mention Linux once [in the press release announcing the deal]," said Al Gillen, research manager for systems software at IDC, Framingham, Mass."

"Although the merger also combines two outwardly disparate operating systems, executives didn't seem concerned. Asked about Linux, Zander said the company did not walk into the deal "with Linux stamped on our foreheads," but insisted Sun is not anti-Linux."

"There are skeptics in the open source world who think Linux is Sun's true game plan. "This is just another step in the stealth Linuxization of Sun," said Eric S. Raymond, president of The Open Source Initiative. However, the fact that Sun buried the Linux angle will not sit well with the open source community, which views Sun with suspicion, several observers said. "If Sun wants to be a friend of open source, they missed a chance to position itself as such," said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC."

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