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TechWeb: Sun, Cobalt Deal Puts Linux In Spotlight

“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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