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Type: Multi-tasking, multi-user UNIX
Creator: Sun Microsystems / Oracle
Architecture: SPARC, Intel x86
This Version: Solaris 11.4 (2018-present)
Date Released: 1993

Solaris was originally introduced to reflect SUN's change from a BSD-based UNIX into a SYSV-based operating system. However, when the change from SunOS to Solaris was announced, the marketing people immediately changed all references from SunOS to Solaris, creating some confusion.


                                                        The Florida SunFlash
                   SunSoft Introduces Solaris

SunFLASH Vol 33 #1					      September 1991 

       First Shrink-Wrapped Distributed Computing Solution

Integrates Most Widely Used 32-bit System Software on a Single CD;
Available for SPARC and Intel Platforms

SAN JOSE, Calif., --Sept. 4, 1991-- SunSoft, the system software
subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., today raised the bar in the
software market with its introduction of Solaris(TM), the industry's
first "shrink-wrapped" distributed computing environment available in
volume on a compact disc. Solaris will be available on the computing
industry's highest-volume multivendor platforms, SPARC(R)-based RISC
systems and Intel 80386/486-based personal computers.

The announcement was made at SunSoft's Catalyst(TM) Developers
Conference, which had more than 1,000 attendees from around the world.
Today's introduction is the company's first major product launch since
starting business July 1 and represents its opening move in the hotly
contested market for advanced system software.

Most system software available today is designed for stand-alone
computers.  However, SunSoft's Solaris integrates the world's leading
distributed computing technologies to empower the workgroup. Solaris is
a total system software solution integrating a 3-D desktop metaphor
with a robust developer environment that is founded on the industry's
most powerful 32-bit operating system, SunOS(TM). This operating system
now incorporates the UNIX(R) System V Release 4 (SVR4) industry
standard, which unites 80 percent of the 10 million UNIX users. Solaris
also features support for next-generation technologies, such as
symmetric mulitprocessing and multithreading, to drive volume on the
commercial desktop.

"While other companies are talking about making distributed computing a
reality, at SunSoft, we're there," said Edward J.  Zander, president of
SunSoft. "Solaris offers 32- bit power, symmetric multiprocessing with
multithreading, application interoperability and objects -- the kind of
technologies that will be required for developing next- generation
networked applications."

Some of the world's largest computer vendors today announced support
for Solaris on Intel. Novell announced it will partner with SunSoft to
introduce the Solaris product for Intel to its reseller channels and
incorporate its NetWare network operating system products into
SunSoft's new distributed computing environment.

ASCII Corp., Japan's largest PC and UNIX software company, announced
that it will distribute the Solaris environment for Intel through its
resellers in Japan.

Intel announced plans to cooperate with SunSoft to ensure that Solaris
2.0 will be optimized to run on the X86 platform.

AST Research, the third-highest volume supplier of 80486-based systems
in the United States, certified that Solaris will run on its products.
In addition, Toshiba, CompuAdd, and NetFRAME, a leading supplier of PC
superservers, expressed their support for Solaris on the Intel X86

Many of the leading SPARC vendors endorsed Solaris. CompuAdd,
Solbourne, Tatung, Toshiba, and Sun Microsystems Computer Corp.
announced that they will offer Solaris on their SPARC-based products.
These companies offer a range of systems from laptops to mainframes.

In addition, ICL,the leading computer manufacturer in Europe, announced
a collaboration with SunSoft to enable SVR4 applications to run
unchanged on multiple SPARC platforms.

By making Solaris available on the Intel and SPARC platforms, SunSoft
unites the world's highest-volume RISC and CISC platforms with a single
computing environment. According to International Data Corp.  (IDC), a
market research group based in Framingham, Mass., SPARC captured 65
percent of the total RISC market in 1990.   Intel X86-based systems
accounted for 84 percent of all computers shipped in 1990, according to
IDC. Software written for Solaris on Intel and SPARC will be source
code compatible, enabling developers to create one application that
runs on both platforms. Already, Solaris inherits a base of more than
3,600 third-party software and hardware products - the industry's
largest compatible 32-bit solution base.

More than 50 software developers, providing solutions for a range of
commercial, productivity and technical markets, also announced support
for SunSoft's new distributed computing environment.  These include
Lotus Development Corp., Ashton- Tate, WordPerfect, Oracle, Cadence,
Ventura Software, Informix and ASK/Ingres.

Solaris: Shipping in Volume With a Path to the Future

Based on SunOS, the highest-volume 32-bit UNIX operating system,
Solaris gives users the power of multitasking, multiprocessing and
multithreading on the desktop.  Today, SunOS runs on 500,000 machines
and represents more than 47 percent of the workstation market,
according to Dataquest, a market research firm based in San Jose,

Solaris has been designed to meet the needs of end users, software
developers and system administrators in distributed computing
environments. For end users, Solaris offers the intuitive OPEN LOOK 3-D
desktop metaphor with multimedia workgroup productivity applications,
making the network easily accessible by commercial desktops.  For
software developers, Solaris features a robust developer environment:
OpenWindows(TM) with the object-oriented application interoperability
product, ToolTalk(TM), to easily create next-generation distributed
applications. Lastly, for system administrators, Solaris includes
ONC(TM) (Open Network Computing), the industry's most widely used
heterogenous networking solution, with more than 1.3 million nodes.

Project DOE: Distributed Objects Everywhere - SunSoft's Vision

For the 1990s Solaris extends the benefits of its distributed computing
technologies to include object-oriented computing benefits for
workgroups. SunSoft calls this vision Project DOE:  Distributed Object

"Distributed objects are de rigueur in the '90s," said Zander.  "And
with Solaris, distributed technologies are within reach of every type
of user. "

Solaris, unlike personal computer operating environments that require a
total rewrite to move to objects, provides a seamless path to
distributed objects as it builds on SunOS.

SunSoft is delivering the first component against its vision of Project
DOE. In February 1991, SunSoft and Hewlett-Packard (HP) developed the
industry's first Distributed Object Management Facility (Distributed
OMF). This was submitted to the Object Management Group (OMG). In June,
SunSoft added to its object technology foundation with the introduction
of ToolTalk. The product has been endorsed by a number of leading
software vendors including Lotus Development Corp., Cadence, Valid and
Clarity Software. Other elements of Project DOE will be introduced
later this year.


SunSoft offers two versions of Solaris. Solaris 1.0 is based on SunOS
4.1.1, OpenWindows Version 2 and DeskSet(TM) Version 2. It is available
immediately for all SPARC vendors in a shrink-wrapped package that
includes a compact disc and documentation. Solaris 1.0 is available
through SunSoft and major computer system manufacturers worldwide.

Solaris 2.0 is based on SunSoft's latest SVR4-based SunOS 5.0 with
symmetric multiprocessing and multithreading, and enhanced ONC. It
features OpenWindows Version 3 and DeskSet Version 3. Solaris 2.0 is
offered on the SPARC and Intel platforms.  It maintains source
compatibility with Solaris 1.0, providing a smooth migration path for
software developers to SVR4.  Developer copies of Solaris 2.0 on SPARC
are available immediately through SunSoft. An early access release of
Solaris for the SPARC and Intel platforms will be available in early
1992. Solaris 2.0 will be shipped in volume for both platforms in the
first half of 1992.   Pricing will be announced at that time.  Product
inquiries should be directed to SunSoft at 1-800-227-9227.

SunSoft, Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., is a subsidiary
of Sun Microsystems, Inc. The company is the leading worldwide supplier
of system software solutions for distributed computing. SunSoft's
products are targeted at software developers, systems administrators
and end users, and are licensed by SunSoft and sold through major
computer system manufacturers and VARs worldwide.


UNIX and OPEN LOOK are registered trademarks of UNIX System
Laboratories, Inc. Solaris, Catalyst, SunOS, ONC, OpenWindows, ToolTalk
and DeskSet are trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. licensed to
SunSoft, Inc. Prices are sub ject to change. All other products
mentioned herein are identified by the trademarks as designated by the
companies who market these products. Inquiries concerning such
trademarks should be made directly to those companies.

PR contact:

SunSoft, Inc.  Shernaz Daver (415) 336-0678

For information send mail to info-sunflash@sunvice.East.Sun.COM.
Subscription requests should be sent to sunflash-request@sunvice.East.Sun.COM.
Archives are on and

All prices, availability, and other statements relating to Sun or third
party products are valid in the U.S. only. Please contact your local
Sales Representative for details of pricing and product availability in
your region. Descriptions of, or references to products or publications
within SunFlash does not imply an endorsement of that product or
publication by Sun Microsystems.

John McLaughlin, SunFlash editor, flash@sunvice.East.Sun.COM. (305) 776-7770.

See also