The Sun sets on Solaris and Sparc

After years of struggle and fading recognition, it seems the end is finally here for Solaris and Sparc, the Unix operating system and RISC processor designed and championed by Sun Microsystems and inherited by Oracle in 2010.

In a move that will win it no PR points, Oracle sent out recorded telephone messages to employees who were let go on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend. Yes, firing by voice mail. Classy.

The exact number is being debated, but talk on one message board puts it at 2,500 positions cut. That’s both Solaris and Sparc engineers. The workers affected are primarily in the Santa Clara area, in a former Sun office not even a mile from Intel’s headquarters, but they are in three other states and India as well. 

Then on Monday, former Sun executive Bryan Cantrill wrote a blog post called “The Sudden Death and Eternal Life of Solaris” in which he wrote that the cuts are “so deep as to be fatal: the core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90 percent of its people, including essentially all management.”

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