Sun revives Solaris for Intel

8.0 next month, 9.0 next year

Sun is to revive the Intel version of Solaris, which it effectively mothballed late last year.

From September, Sun will offer Solaris x86 8.0, alongside Linux on its new 'Big Bear' Intel hardware that it will announce this morning in San Francisco. And from early next year, Solaris 9.0 for Intel will be an option, too.

"We plan to resync the updates for Solaris 9 between x86 and SPARC with the second update release in December 2002," wrote Sun's Graham Lovell on a user message board.

InfoWorld has speeds and feeds for the Big Bear machines, here. (We note with some relief that InfoWorld's rampaging hyperlink bot, that used to underline every occurrence of the word "server" or "chip" has been found and destroyed - or has snuck off on vacation).

There's one catch: it will only be licensed for Sun's x86 hardware. This allows the Solaris for managers to argue that the little-used, but much-loved Solaris port isn't an albatross, but is driving revenue. Users argued - with some justification - that the Intel version drove revenue anyway, providing a low-cost training ground for users who would then decide to move up onto SPARC hardware, which is where Sun makes its money.

Lovell also made the commitment to keep the x86 version in step with v10 and future releases. The forthcoming versions will revert to being called " Solaris x86" instead of "Solaris Intel Platform Edition".

Lovell thanked the "Secret Six", who had negotiated with Sun on behalf of users to see the x86 port restored.

There should be more information at http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/lx50/, but the site doesn't seem to have pecked its way through the protective albumen of the embargo, just yet. ®

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