Last week we had a chat with Timothy Cramer and other Sun employees and in that a few details concerning the next OpenSolaris release were shed. The next OpenSolaris release will be called 2009.04 (not OpenSolaris 2009.05 that we otherwise would have expected with a six-month release cycle). OpenSolaris 2009.04 can then be expected in late April or early May.
OpenSolaris 2009.04 will feature updated packages, of course, but in particular what we concerned with was the X.Org stack being brought up-to-date. OpenSolaris 2008.11 is shipping with X Server 1.3 while the latest official release right now is X Server 1.5.3 and X Server 1.6 will make it out the door next month. The reason presented as to why OpenSolaris currently isn't updated with the latest X packages was "bad timing", but we're told with 2009.04 all of the X.Org packages should be updated and they should begin appearing in a Solaris Express Community Edition release soon.
There's also a chance that OpenSolaris 2009.04 may finally ship with a word processor by default. OpenSolaris will also be supported on the SPARC architecture. A few package management improvements were also discussed last week during this call.
One interesting tid-bit that we learned is that Sun Microsystems is analyzing all failed searches generated using their package manager for the Image Packaging System (IPS) to analyze trends and determine which software to bring to OpenSolaris next.
We'll have more information on the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release and details surrounding the next OpenSolaris 2009.04 release soon. More information on this Sun project can be found at OpenSolaris.com.