Sun Microsystems‘ outgoing president and chief operating officer called the latest version of its operating system a disruptive technology, but one analyst said its just part of the market direction.

In what was reported to be Ed

Zander’s last product launch before retiring in July, he said Solaris 9 is the culmination of almost five years’ of work. Some of the hyped features included an integrated application server software, Star Office 6.0 and a Unix compatibility guarantee.

“”This is the contemporary way you’re going to think about operating systems over the next 10 years. In fact, I don’t believe we’ll talk about operating systems three to five years from now. There’s no such thing as an operating system; it’s a Web service platform,”” Zander said.

“”We’ll have to sit here in 2012 to write about 2002 because it takes you 10 years to appreciate sometimes a disruptive technology.””

Anil Gadre, vice-president and general manager of the Solaris group, said the app server is Java 2 enterprise edition (J2EE) compliant. He added that a lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) directory also comes standard.

Zander said the driving force behind the changes was customer demand. “”‘I gotta go buy a directory from one company, apps server from another company, security from another company, I gotta do the integration,'”” clients complain, Zander said. “”‘I want an platform (that can be integrated) based on open standards.'””

IDC Canada Ltd. software analyst Warren Shiau said bundling an application server with the OS is hardly earth shaking and called it a continuation of a trend. “”Sun’s move is just making official what has already been a marketplace reality for quite awhile,”” he said. While the release might not move heaven and earth, the trend will mostly likely have repercussions.

“”The biggest effect is on companies like BEA Systems. Their margins have been hit incredibly already and they’re just going to be hit worse,”” Shiau said, “”and that’s despite the fact BEA continues to have a huge portion of the market.””

“”Application servers (are) not likely to remain a viable stand-alone market in the future because of these price and margin pressures that being exerted by vendors with broader product lines.””


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