Sun Cool to High-End Linux

Sun Microsystems Inc. is adding another Linux piece to its overall product line, but don't confuse that with a strong endorsement for the open-source operating system.

"We don't offer Linux computers; we offer solutions," said Scott McNealy, Sun's chairman, president and CEO, in an interview following the announcement of Sun's desktop initiative, Project Mad Hatter, at the Sun Network conference here last week.

"The goal is to ask the customer what problem they want solved," McNealy said. "Customers shouldn't be writing to Solaris or Windows or Linux; they should be writing to the Sun ONE [Open Net Environment]. Linux is a component of this. That's the big picture." Sun's goal for the new, 32-bit Linux workstation, due in the first quarter of next year, is to use it to drive sales of server products running Sun's bread and butter, Solaris on SPARC. And officials made clear that Sun will never run Linux on high-end SPARC systems.

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