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www.fool.com dueling report on sunw stated "Its (sunw) competitors aren't offering proprietary solutions anymore; they're offering commodity open-source software like Linux and Apache, on clusters of commodity PC hardware.

To get the performance required for high end solutions on PCs, clusters seem to be the only way. However, the cost of support for this over the mid to long term requires a greater investment than investing in hardware that scales better than just PCs.

If you need an OS that can stay up for months at a time, you don't have to pay for Solaris.

Solaris is also free for use up to 8 CPUs.

Download Linux. It's free, and it outperforms Solaris on Sun's own hardware.

Which is a good point. Sun therefore still make a sale for their hardware. As good as selling it with Solaris on, since they make no money from Solaris.

Or you could just provide your own support in-house

Which can often end up costing far more than outsourcing the support.

The main point that you seem to have missed is Total Cost of Ownership. Sure, Linux is free, sure you can have the source code, all these things are great and have helped evolve the market. But how many more people are required to keep this type of solution running? Several times more systems (and therefore more people to keep them running), people you pay to debug code (rather than being obsorbed by sales of a sizable organization).

Lets say everything you say is true. Imagine that tomorrow Sun announced that they would be supporting Linux on their hardware. Can you imagine the head spins this would give IBM, MSFT, HP etc. Very little changes would be required to make this happen, giving Sun the ability to spin on a dime.
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