The Way to Open Source of Cobalt
January of 2001, I closed the essay of Startup Story of Cobalt with following words; "I long for the future of Cobalt with great expectation that is the same feerings in 1998 when we were starting of our users group."
From acquire till RaQ550
Cobalt had been acquired by Sun Microsystems in September 2000. That procedure had been finished by the end of 2000. Then the Cobalt logo sign of the entrance of their office changed to Sun's one, and the office building also had been called by the serial number of Sun's too. Unfortunately, at that years, "New Economy" - the business condition that was called by US economists - bagan to show some depression trend. The stock price of Sun was also going down as same as all of other companies. Probabry Cobalt got a luck. If Cobalt was not acquired, the stock of Cobalt might be as good as waste paper. They succeed to find a stable sponsor before the crisis was comming.
It was so hard to do make a balance in the black for hardware
business company such as Cobalt, even under these good state condition.
But I heard Cobalt had succeed to reach their balance to even at
the last their quarter.
If you remember the situation at these years, you also can understand
how Cobalt succeed and how important to get stable funds.
Anyway I can say, there are a lot of companies at that time that make
the black balance by empty stock. Yes, Cobalt was not.
"Is Sun good farther for Cobalt, or not?"
People discussed about it after the merger and there were tons of rumors
but Cobalt just ran straight forward.
For example, the developments and sells of Chili!Soft was continued.
A logo sign of Qube 3 had been changed to "Sun Cobalt" but that's all.
Qube3 itself was going on streight forward.
Especially in Japan, support service was fully improved by Sun. And
ported application software was growing.
Exactly, new Sun Cobalt brand has no major progress but anyway Cobalt
business was going on. Cobalt just diffused to the market silently.
September 2002, after the long absence, RaQ550 was released that was the
first product after the merger.
It was based on Sausalito architechture that was implemented for Qube3.
RaQ550 system was of course expanded it to multi domain compatible.
High speed processor supported heavy load jobs be stable.
I tell the truth, we, who touched Cobalt so long time, RaQ550 was well
balanced model. So it made one more great step ahead from the previous
products. The market confirmed it. There were no competiter on the
apliance server market.
After that release, October 2002, Vivek had also left from Cobalt.
Cobalt office was also left from Ellis street then staff moved to
Network Circle campus of Sun in Menlo Park but to be scattered.
Vivek never moved to there with his Cobalt team.
May 2003, Finaly the end of life of Qube3 had been announced. The end of May was the day of last buy, the 4th June was the last sell. Of course it is not the end of the server appliance product because Sun continue to support works and RaQ550 also continue to sell. But Qube was the symbol, all of the time of Cobalt. Then we have got lonely for the end of life of Qube as a real product.
To Open Source
Actually, we, Cobalt Users Group did not push the open source project
and we also don't know how progress the project was.
Only we can say, Qube, the soul of Cobalt did not died by the end of
The DNA will be alive forever in the sea of Open Source.
DNA of Cobalt will not only resuscitate the body by the sea of Open Source but also evolute itself. I am so glad to join in this process with Cobalt Users Group.