Now that the code is available, Sun said that it will measure the success of the release by the size of the developer community it can gather around the project.
Collaboration with that community will be a major challenge, acknowledged Sun chief operating officer Jonathan Schwartz.
"You cannot think up things in the ivory tower and descend upon the masses; delivering a lump of code is not going to help much," he explained.
This move will allow developers to customize the Solaris OS to their specific requirements, and then sell it without having to pay license fees back to Sun Microsystems. The move is seen as the only viable option for Sun if it seriously wants to position Solaris against Linux.