Sun really is bending over backwards for the development community. If you are interested in Solaris (that's Solaris for x86 too), you can get free evaluation and educational use licensing, and if you want development support it's a lousy $99.00 a year, which is just ridiculously cheap.
I will admit to having a strong fondness for Solaris. It has been quite a while since I have actively used it, but the itch to download an x86 CD image again is growing. Something mildly amusing on their website; among the requirements listed for using the iso image is CD Labels. Guess they don't want you leaving any unlabeled CD's hanging around.
Anybody with a SysV background will find Solaris very comfortable: SCO OSR5 and Unixware folks will have very little disorientation. Solaris on x86 has had a mixed history of neglect now and then; quite understandable as Sun's income comes from selling hardware, not operating systems. But they never have killed it dead, and it's available right now to play with if you want.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2011-03-09 Tony Lawrence