Oracle's Borg-like assimilation of Sun nears completion

Oracle's battle over free use of Java and plans to kill OpenSolaris mark the imminent erasure of Sun's give-it-all-away legacy

Oracle continues to demonstrate its uncanny resemblance to the "Star Trek" universe's Borg, the massive, unfeeling entity that doesn't merely capture and feed on prey so much as it absorbs its victims and entirely reshapes them into its own likeness. Throughout the assimilation process, the Borg remains unaffected by its victims' values, beliefs, or feelings. It merely grows larger and more powerful.

Currently we're observing Oracle's assimilation of one of its most prominent victims, Sun, reputed for its tendency to give just about anything and everything away for free. That bright and shiny legacy is being absorbed by the black void of the Borgacle as it works to make Sun's open technologies as, well, un-open as possible.

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Over the past day or so alone, we've witnessed Oracle set phasers to "litigate" against Google over the company's use of Java in Android. Today, meanwhile, a purportedly leaked memo from Oracle to its Solaris engineers reveals that the company plans to stop development of OpenSolaris -- and release of future binary distros of the Solaris -- and steer customers toward Solaris 11.

Further, almost certainly in the name of competitive advantage, the company plans to stop distributing source code update for the entire Solaris OS in "real time" and to only distribute code updates to licensees "following full releases of our enterprise Solaris operating system. In this manner, new technology innovations will show up in our releases before anywhere else."

Additionally, Oracle will partially cloak its development plans: "We will no longer post advance technical descriptions of every single ARC case by default, indicating what technical innovations might be present in future Solaris releases."

Whereas Sun will soon be fully assimilated, OpenSolaris may still live on: A small rebel force has hinted at plans to fight back against Oracle by forking the operating system, thus bringing balance to the Source. Oops. Wrong universe.

This story, "Oracle's Borg-like assimilation of Sun nears completion," was originally published at Get the first word on important tech news with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.


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