Sun Microsystems Chief Executive Scott McNealy has offered HP another thorny olive branch, this time to merge the HP-UX version of Unix with Sun's Solaris. The latter runs on x86 computers such as HP's ProLiant line and Sun's "Galaxy" line of x86 servers, but HP-UX runs only on HP's PA-RISC-based 9000 line, which the company is phasing out, and on its Itanium-based Integrity line, which is catching on more slowly and in a smaller market than originally planned.
"With the end of PA-RISC systems, and HP-UX now only available on Itanium, we're convinced a converged HP-UX/Solaris 10 platform could play a far stronger role in HP's product portfolio. We believe there's benefit to HP, our mutual customers, developers and partners. We're hopeful that HP will work with us and further embrace Solaris 10," McNealy said in an open letter published Wednesday.
Sun has made barbed overtures before. At Sun's analyst summit in February, McNealy suggested HP offer services based on Sun's technology.
HP declined to comment on McNealy's letter.
Sun President Jonathan Schwartz floated the merger idea during a February speech at the Open Source Business Conference, saying that the 4 million copies of Solaris 10 that have been downloaded so far is "more licenses than HP has shipped for HP-UX in the entire history of that company."
And in a meeting with reporters Friday, Schwartz said Sun's Solaris research commitment is far larger than HP's comparable effort. "We've got roughly 5,000 people working on Solaris. I'd love to know how many HP has on HP-UX. I guarantee it's not 5,000," he said.
Rich Marcello, head of HP's Integrity product line, said in an interview Monday that the company has "couple thousand" working on the project.