OpenSolaris notebooks… finally?

A few months ago we saw the news that Toshiba and Sun were about to team up on bringing the OpenSolaris operating system pre-installed to Toshiba notebooks. And, by now, it seems this finally happened: The first line of devices of this kind is available via the OpenSolaris store. Well… There are a few thoughts coming to my mind about that:

  • Generally, it’s rather good to see mainstream hardware being sold with any operating system other than Windows. Let’s hope this might help OpenSolaris gaining some market share in the desktop operating system world, as it surely has something to offer compared to, well, “other platforms”.
  • It should be noted that, even though not explicitely being sold with them, recent OpenSolaris installments also work with other Toshiba machines in a rather pleasant manner. My Tecra A8 (which is a little older by now already) so far has most of its components working out of the box with recent OpenSolaris builds.
  • With this hardware/software combination, I surely hope to see OpenSolaris getting the kind of attention and support needed to really be fun on a notebook. This includes, say, connecting to networks using cell phones (attached via Bluetooth or USB), sync’ing address / calendar / to-do data between mobile and desktop applications, joining wireless networks of all kind without too much ado or providing feasible ways of working in a way optimized for minimum power consumption. Though things have considerably improved here, it’s still a long way to go until being on par with Linux or Windows it seems.

Nevertheless, the mere fact a major hardware manufacturer is selling devices using OpenSolaris pre-installed is quite notable. Let’s hope for more to follow and some momentum to grow out of this. That aside, then and now I still wonder why, given the overall quality of the Solaris operating system, it took Sun Microsystems that long to get to this point. Having a viable Solaris-for-any-kind-of-desktops available along with, say, the release of MS Windows 2000 surely could have changed the operating system market. But that’s probably another story…

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