Today I ran across this old Live DVD for OpenSolaris circa 2008 from Sun Microsystems. Choose your language and "Share Freely" it said.
With those days now long bygone let us take a moment to remember when MySQL was really Open Source, Oracle was smaller but just as mean, Java was "hippier" and not the legacy software hurriedly gathering XML dust that it is now. The cloud was in it's infancy as it hadn't gotten beyond email yet. Google had just discovered Android but no one could dream how fast it would spread. It was all about ZFS not BTRFS (ButterFS).
Life was simple. Google didn't do evil but soon would and Sun had too much talent for it's own good. Sun failed to put their advantages to good use and was lost in the halo of past glory. Unfortunately, they hadn't woken up from the .dot com bubble. You have to make money if you want make the world go around. Red Hat became a billion dollar company and Linux not Unix would be the King.
In the end it turned out the Network was indeed the Computer even though Sun and everyone else at the time missed the opportunity. The Cloud is afterall a network that computes. However, not to worry, our favourite online retailer was already busy realizing the vision.
In memory of... what could have been.
For the few still out there that want to run a free Solaris variant take a look at the SmartOS and illumos projects.
Photo by Wikipedia.