Sun Slams IBM over x86 Decision - Page 2

Singer said Sun CEO Scott McNealy told him of a recent conversation he had with IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano, who told him that IBM no longer has to support an environment that includes Sun, even if it is one that is best for the customer.

"That behavior smells monopolistic. Withholding support for industry-leading platforms which are not IBMs own smacks of that," Singer said. "IBM has announced all its support for Linux and continues to sell [its Unix-based] AIX [operating system] and other proprietary systems. They do more volume on their own proprietary systems, but they make the market think they are being open by supporting Linux."

But IBMs Eisenstadt rejected that, saying that one just had to look at all the platforms that IBM supported to know it was patently untrue.

Singer said that IBM has long supported Solaris for its enterprise software applications, including DB2, Informix, Lotus, Tivoli and WebSphere, all of which run on Solaris 8 and 9. Now they will run on Solaris 10 for SPARC but not on x86.

"The reason we are moving to Solaris on x86 is that customers are demanding choice for where they run their enterprise applications, and by IBM doing this they are restricting customer choice," Singer said. "The code base for Solaris on x86 and SPARC is exactly the same. Its a simple recompile. But what they are not agreeing to do is test and certify. Its not a matter of not being able to run it."

Linux had emerged as a way to free-market economics of the x86 platform and was essentially an attack on RISC architecture, Singer said. Customers were seeing that they could use the low-cost x86 platforms to do the same type of work done on RISC without the security exposure and scalability issues they had with Windows, he said.

GMs Scott said x86 is a very viable enterprise platform along with Solaris, which has the highest quality of all the Unix-based operating systems.

"We like the x86 platform and the ability it brings to scale out," Scott said.

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