Sun Microsystems seem poised to release Solaris 10 operating system at the end of January 2005. The new UNIX based OS, which Sun says contains more than 600 new features and reflects 3,000 engineering years, will be made available for SPARC, x86, AMD64 and EM64T systems as a free download. Revenue is then generated for Sun via a flexible subscription-based offering and set of support, migration and education services. Sun believes that the new OS will wind up costing businesses some 30 to 50 percent less than the Linux OS, which is gathering much momentum in the same server market. Sun have claimed that the new OS is the fastest operating system ever released by Sun and that it should be more than 40 percent faster in Web server performance on both SPARC and x86.

Work is also afoot from Sun on the Janus project, which will allow Solaris 10 and native Linux binaries run side by side with no modifications - offering a neat conversation path to Solaris for those companies already deep in Linux.