Solaris to IBM, x86 to Apple, Power to Microsoft, and other flying pig events

The register report “IBM embraces – wtf – Sun’s Solaris across x86 server line” is a very appropriate headline for something quite surprising. The day before this happened, we discussed the announced announcement and said “nah, it can’t be about operating systems”. The idea of IBM in-sourcing Solaris for x86 just felt like the kind of thing that was in the same realm as flying pigs, freezing hells, and similar unlikely events.

But I guess this is just the latest instance in a long string of flying pig events that has happened in the past few years in the technology industry.

Apple switching to Intel-provided x86 processors also felt way out.

Microsoft using Power architecture processors in the Xbox 360 was also just to weird to imagine.

I guess Sun selling x86-based servers was also in the same league.

But all these things did happen. And that probably means something. Question is what.

I hope and guess that it could be business sense winning out over technology inertia. And technology becoming good enough that inertia is going down. In retrospect, all these technology decisions make sense. The end products are better in some significant way. Factors involved are performance, price, power consumption, software available, scalability, or just standards agreement. Not-invented-here and the tyranny of the legacy seems to be reduced powers in the industry. Or it just means that companies have changed their idea on what their core business and value is. If it is all about branding, it does not matter what is inside the box called Apple, Sun, IBM, or Microsoft. As long as it works.

So I would expect more flying pig events in the future. But I have none to predict currently. It is going to be an exciting and surprising time.

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