Sun Makes Blockbuster Solaris 10 Free of Charge For Commercial Use

Multi-Platform, Vendor-Neutral OS With 600 Innovative New Features Dramatically Changes Playing Field; Move to a Services Subscription Model for Revenue

November 15, 2005

At its Network Computing ’04Q4 (NC04Q4) launch today, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today unveiled the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS). Representing 3,000 engineering years and a $500 USD million-plus R&D investment, Solaris 10 contains more than 600 innovative new features and is the most advanced UNIX(R) operating system ever. Sun plans to make Solaris 10 available for SPARC(R), x86, AMD64 and EM64T systems as a free download by January 31, 2005. Unlike other free distributions which provide only “early access” or “evaluation” free, Sun will provide its commercial grade Solaris 10 product free for deployment. A range of services are available for a fee. Solaris 10 is a vendor-neutral operating system that is supported on more than 270 different hardware platforms from vendors as diverse as Dell, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, IBM and HP. Sun also unveiled a new advertising campaign and game-changing business model in support of the Solaris 10 launch.

“Operating systems matter now more than ever,” said Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc. “Solaris 10 is an industry milestone, bar none. This is the result of Sun’s huge investment in R&D and demonstrates how superior engineering can deliver real customer advantage. With thousands of customers previewing Solaris 10 as part of the Sun Software Express for Solaris program and more than a half million installations of the product so far, Solaris 10 is the most anticipated product release in the history of Sun.”

Designed for modern datacenter workloads, Solaris 10 is the fastest operating system ever released by Sun – more than 40 percent faster than Solaris 9 in web server performance on both SPARC and x86.

Key features include:

1)DTrace – With new diagnostic tools in Solaris 10, developers can quickly zero in on performance issues and hard-to-find bugs so that problems can be diagnosed in milliseconds and minutes, not hours or days.

2)Solaris Containers – Solaris 10 is the only OS to provide multiple software partitions with more than 8000 containers – on one instance of the OS. Resources can be automatically re-allocated, achieving up to 80 percent system utilization.

3)Process Rights Management – Solaris 10 now includes technology from the Trusted Solaris(TM) operating system, widely used for U.S. government secure communications. Process Rights Management uses a more granular privilege use model to help ensure that application vulnerabilities cannot be exploited and lead to widespread system damage.

4)Predictive Self Healing – Solaris 10 can automatically diagnose, isolate and recover from many hardware and application faults to vastly reduce system downtime.

5)Linux Application Environment (previously code named Project Janus) – Solaris 10 will be the only OS to run Solaris and native Linux binaries side-by-side with no modifications, providing customers with investment protection and broader access to applications written for both operating systems.

6)ZFS – With 16 billion billion times more capacity than current 64-bit file systems, ZFS will be the industry’s only file system with virtually unlimited storage capacity, helping to make Solaris 10 the industry’s best OS for data storage. ZFS can reduce administrative overhead by up to 80 percent and provides provable data integrity with a 99.99999999999999999 percent chance of error detection and correction.

7)Cryptographic Framework – Based on the industry accepted PKCS#11 standard, this new framework enhances performance and centralizes management of cryptographic operations. Application developers can write to a common API, which helps IT organizations protect their investment in applications and helps Sun partners write applications without worrying about the underlying cryptographic implementation.

8)Sun Update Connection – An update service that allows users to analyze the system and stay up-to-date from almost anywhere, the Sun Update Connection provides notifications, enables users to act locally using a single-system updater and deploy remotely using Sun’s update portal.

9)AMD64 – Solaris 10 is optimized for AMD Opteron 64-bit processors, providing far greater performance than previously available on low-cost architectures, while continuing to provide binary compatibility between 32-bit and 64-bit environments.

10)Guaranteed Compatibility – Sun offers the Solaris Application Guarantee to ensure that applications written for previous versions of Solaris will run on Solaris 10. Extending backwards compatibility to Solaris 2.6, this guarantee covers an unprecedented seven years of OS releases.

“For more than 18 years, SAS has worked closely with Sun to ensure technology compatibility,” said Keith Collins, CTO of SAS. “We are encouraged by the advances Sun is delivering in Solaris 10 and the direction of the company. Our strong, strategic partnership with Sun allows us to work directly with their developers during all stages of development, which means we have not had to make any special changes to SAS for Solaris 10. SAS products are fully optimized and certified to run on the Solaris system making integration of SAS(r)9 and Solaris 10 seamless.”

Sun is backing its product innovations with a new business model that is expected to radically redefine the economics of OS licensing. Beginning early next year, Sun will make Solaris 10 available at no charge to customers – moving away from a fee structure and introducing a service-based pricing model. Similar to phone calling plans, the Solaris subscription plans will vary depending on the level of support and network compute capacity that is included (see related announcement today).

Originally launched in 1991, Solaris has become the #1 UNIX operating system. Nearly all of the global Fortune 1000 run Solaris. A growing base of more than 1000 ISVs with more than 12,000 applications enable it to be deployed from the datacenter to the desktop. Solaris 10 will become Sun’s flagship distribution for current and future system platforms. Schwartz added, “Solaris 10 firmly establishes us far ahead of the competition. We will make this very clear to the market – our development community, ISVs and partners have a unique advantage over HP and IBM.”

Tune into Sun’s NC04Q4 web event at and visit our online press kit ( to view all press releases and detailed product launch background.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Trusted Solaris, Sun Fire and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.