I’ve poked at Sun repeatedly in past blog posts. While Jeremy Allison isn’t with Sun, he was once and understands why Sun did the things they did.
Linux systems from Red Hat and others ate Sun up from the inside out, by colonizing their customer base. Sun vs. the Linux world is a wonderful example of the weakness of proprietary licensing and trying to maintain control over software versus the GNU General Public License (GPL) and decentralized development model that Linux uses.
It’s not just Linux v. Solaris though. The same issues around user/developer community (ie: market) came up with Java, OpenOffice, MySQL, SPARC. Open source people talk about “community” and there are all sorts of ways to think about that vague term. But in the end, not being “community friendly” equates to not being friendly to your customer base and it hurts your market share over time. Jeremy’s blog post gives some nice examples of this.
It’ll be interesting to see what Oracle does going forward.