Sunday, July 11, 2004

Software Express for Solaris

Seems like Microsoft isn't the only company getting on the "Express" bandwagon: development builds of Solaris are now available for download as (hmm, guess what?) "Software Express for Solaris". Unfortunately, there's a hitch, and it isn't a minor one either: one has to already own a Solaris licence to use the product, and the lowest outlay for one of those is $289 ($99 for a single-cpu license + $95 for Softawre w/ DVD-ROM Media + $95 for Administrator's CD/DVD Media and Installation Docs).

Frankly, Sun's policy doesn't make the least bit of sense to me. Linux is freely available and eating into the company's market share from below, while 6-month trial copies of Windows Server 2003 can be freely downloaded from Microsoft's website. Exactly how many would-be Solaris administrators and evangelists does Sun expect to fork out $300 simply for the privilege of trying out its operating systems? I thought the name of the game was to flood the market with people who are well-versed in caring for your products, thereby reducing the risk and TCO of buying your stuff for potential customers, but Sun's management evidently has other ideas.

PS: Actually, I spoke too soon. Sun does indeed have a program providing free copies of Solaris 9 for evaluation. It's still not as attractive as Microsoft's offering though, as the evaluation period is only 60 days.

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