Debian Linux Founder Joins Sun

In yet another sign of its seriousness when it comes to open source, Sun Microsystems has hired Ian Murdock to be its first Chief Operating Platforms Officer. Murdock made the announcement on his personal blog.

Murdock is the founder of the Debian Linux distribution. He first wrote the Debian Manifesto in 1993 while in college, naming his Linux distribution after himself and his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Debra.

Murdock is also chief technology officer of the Linux Foundation, a position he’s giving up for the Sun  gig. “It is with regrets that I leave the Linux Foundation, but if you haven’t figured out already, Sun is a company I’ve always loved,” Murdock wrote.

He declined to say what exactly he would be doing but did give some hints:

“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.”

Simon Phipps, the chief open source officer at Sun, shed a little more light on the subject on his blog:

Murdock “is responsible for building a new strategy to evolve both Sun’s Solaris and GNU/Linux strategies,” he wrote.

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