When Oracle acquired Sun in early 2010, it was buying a distressed company that had just abandoned a five-year effort to develop a 16-core Sparc chip, code-named the Rock, as the broader market was increasingly turning to lower cost x86 systems..
The Rock chip was first due for completion in 2008.
By the time Sun abandoned the Rock project, the future of Sparc, and by extension Sun's Solaris operating system, was fuzzy.
After Oracle took over Sun, revenue from Solaris declined -- by 3.2% in through 2010 -- "as end users were skeptical about Oracle's commitment to the Solaris platform," reported Gartner at that time. Read more...