Could OS/2 be open sourced?

OS/2, the operating system developed by IBM (and initially with Microsoft in the early days before Microsoft took some of the kernel code and build Windows NT on top of it), may be due for a come back, if a group of enthusiasts at OS/2 World have their way.

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“>The online OS/2 community is petitioning to have have IBM release the source code for OS/2 as open source. Whether this will actually happen is anyone’s guess. OS/2 was initially a far superior operating system and far more stable that Windows 3.x available at the same time, but IBM never managed to get the marketing right to capture a sufficient market share, and instead were steamrollered by the marketing juggernaught of Microsoft.

Playstation 3 to come preinstalled with Linux?

The Inquirer supposedly have some information about the upcoming PS3, and that it will possibly come shipped with a relatively large hard drive. To prove a point that the PS3 will be more than just a games console, it will also be preinstalled with Linux.

One of the key features of the new Cell processor is that it will be capable of running multiple Operating Systems simultaneously on the same processor. Shipping the machine with Linux attempts to prove that the machine will be far more than just a games console.

In an interview with Sony President Ken Kutaragi, he suggests that the console could be used for editing home videos and photo retouching. There hase been a lot of coverage of the consoles gaming capabilities, but up until now no mention has been made of any of the expected ‘home entertainment center’ type functionality, that possibly will set the PS3 apart from the XBox 360, which is getting a head start with its release later this year (2005).

Sun release Open Solaris 10

Sun have released their flagship Unix operating system, Solaris, into the open source arena, as Open Solaris

The latest version of Solaris 10, is now available free for download and use.

This clearly is a huge move for Sun, as this is their (up until now) proprietary OS that they have spent years (and probably millions) developing, now available for anyone to use for free. Time will tell how this will affect adoption of Linux, as now Solaris offers an interesting alternative, backed by years of development by Sun. Red Hat recently went in the opposite direction with their release of Red Hat Enterprise, and decided to offer their Linux distribution with additional features as a commercial product for sale, rather than free (they do still however back the open source development of RedHat Fedora Core, their free distribution of RedHat).

Solaris 10 offers some key advantages (I believe) over Linux:

  • Native Linux apps can run on Solaris without recompilation, enabling easy migration to the Solaris platform
  • Dynamic Tracing – all aspects of the system and software running on the system can be monitored, even on a production live system, aiding performance and problem determination
  • Solaris Containers – a feature where individual applications can be compartmentalized into their own isolated spaces, so that one application will not affect another
  • Predictive Healing – the system monitors itself to predict failures and gives advance warning if systems and expected to fail