Solaris download program back before it left

One day before Sun Microsystems was set to end its Solaris operating system source code download program the company said it will keep the effort going, citing user interest as the reason for the change in plans.

Sun started its Solaris 8 Foundation Source download program last November, giving customers and software developers a chance to look at the operating system code and experiment with making changes to it. Under limited terms of use, the company permitted free downloads of the software code from its Web site and also sold the Solaris code on disks for US$75.

A note posted on Sun's Web site stated the program would end Saturday with a secure chat site and code-exchange service also being shut down. The source code was downloaded or delivered on disks more than 2,000 times, and Sun initially said most users interested in the program had already taken advantage of it. The company then quickly changed its mind after hearing from a number of users asking that the program continue, according to a Sun spokesman.

Unlike many open-source efforts, Sun did not really use the program to promote outside changes to Solaris but rather to show customers and developers the inner-workings of the software, said the Sun spokesman.

While the program Web site still gave a June 30 end date for the effort at the time of this report, Sun confirmed that it will be updated soon to reflect the change.

More information on the Solaris 8 Foundation Source download program is available at www.sun.com/software/solaris/source/.

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