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Oracle Kills “Free” Solaris – Solaris Is No Longer Free

By on March 29th, 2010 
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With Oracle's acquisition of Sun finalized, it seems like Oracle is trying to kill of free software. The licensing of Solaris 10 has been changed so that it is no longer free.

Hers is a pert of the Solaris 10 licensing agreement before Oracle's acquisition of Sun:

Obtaining an Entitlement Document is simple. On the Solaris 10 Get It page, select the platform and format you desire from the drop-down menus, and then click the Download Solaris 10 button. When you arrive at the Sun Download Center, either sign in or register, ensuring that a valid e-mail address is part of your Sun Download Center account to receive the Entitlement Document. Fill out the Solaris download survey, specifying the number of systems on which you are installing the software. Once you have completed the survey, you will be redirected to the Solaris 10 download page for downloading, and your Entitlement Document will be sent to your registered e-mail address.

Basically, all that you have to do to get Solaris is register, specify the number of systems you want to install to and you can download and use Solaris 10 as long as you want for free if you choose not to get support.

After Oracle's acquisition of Sun, a new line has been added in the licensing agreement. This is what it says now:

Obtaining an Entitlement Document is simple. On the Solaris 10 Get It page, select the platform and format you desire from the drop-down menus, and then click the Download Solaris 10 button. When you arrive at the Sun Download Center, either sign in or register, ensuring that a valid e-mail address is part of your Sun Download Center account to receive the Entitlement Document. Fill out the Solaris download survey, specifying the number of systems on which you are installing the software. Once you have completed the survey, you will be redirected to the Solaris 10 download page for downloading, and your Entitlement Document will be sent to your registered e-mail address. Please remember, your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded Software.

So, this means that if you have downloaded Solaris 10, you cannot use it for free for more than 90 days unless you buy their service contract. In short this line added to the licensing means that Solaris is no longer free. You can only get a 90 days trial if you do not pay up.

Does Oracle think it can convert the users of Oracle without a service contarct to paid users? To me it seems very unlikely. Users who need service contracts would already bought it even when it was free. Most of the users who has been using the free Solaris will just migrate to other OS like Linux. Or is the number of Solaris users without a contract low enough that Oracle think they can ignore them? Either way this is a great loss for free software.

[via Info World]

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Oracle Kills “Free” Solaris – Solaris Is No Longer Free was originally published on Digitizor.com on March 29, 2010 - 6:14 pm (Indian Standard Time)