Ian Murdock, founder of Debian Linux, has been hired by Sun Microsystems
to head up operating system platform strategy. He writes on his blog:
I’m excited to announce that, as of today, I’m joining Sun to head up operating system platform strategy. I’m not saying much about what I’ll be doing yet, but you can probably guess from my background and earlier writings that I’ll be advocating that Solaris needs to close the usability gap with Linux to be competitive; that while as I believe Solaris needs to change in some ways, I also believe deeply in the importance of backward compatibility; and that even with Solaris front and center, I’m pretty strongly of the opinion that Linux needs to play a clearer role in the platform strategy.
What is day to day activities will be, precisely, is not yet clear as noted by the Not Just Linux blog
What Murdock’s responsibilities are at this point is somewhat murky, but IT Jungle predicts that he will bridge Sun’s engineering and marketing organizations in his role as liaison between those working on OpenSolaris and those working on the commercial version of the OS.
A CNET article
adds some background on Sun's current Linux strategy, characterizing it as an "in-between" approach that supports both Solaris and Linux on both x86 and Sparc platforms while emphasizing Solaris' legal protections and technology.