Solaris 10 launched in January 2005. By April, "Sun had over 1.2 million registered users, and about two-thirds of those--like three-quarters of a million systems--are for the x86-type platform," according to Angel Camacho, senior technical project manager at Sun.
Forty-three percent of the x86/x64 systems listed on Sun's Solaris OS: Hardware Compatibility Lists (HCLs) are laptops. So it's possible, says Camacho, that "there could be several hundred thousand Solaris notebooks by now," although he recognizes that Sun doesn't have a count.
That volume shouldn't be surprising, since notebooks are now the fastest-selling platform in hardware. Dern also writes:
But x86-based notebook computers have historically been mostly creatures of DOS and Windows, especially in terms of pre-installed OSes.
True, there's still information around on installing OS/2 and BSDs. But for whatever reason, Solaris hasn't had a visible presence in the x86/x64 notebook world ... so far.
Now there's a way to make Sun's platform look good: Compare it to OS/2!
To be fair, though, some enterprising system builders are finding new business opportunities in bringing Sun's OSes to desktops and notebooks. B3 Technologies, for one, has been building Windows-less notebooks with the Java OS.
But Sun and its supporters may want to come up with a more creative marketing campaign than, "If you liked your notebooks with OS/2 or BSD, you'll LOVE them with Solaris."
Just a suggestion.