Sun Microsystems is evaluating whether it should release OpenSolaris under the GNU GPL (general public license), said company co-founder and chairman, Scott McNealy.

OpenSolaris, the open-source version of Sun's Solaris operating system, has so far been open sourced by Sun under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), which is also approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

"There are good arguments for both, and we might do both [GPL and CDDL]," McNealy said. "There are some folks who actually prefer CDDL over GPL." CDDL allows a country like India to develop its own intellectual property, protect it and generate revenue from it, he added.

The conference call with Indian reporters comes ahead of McNealy's visit next week to India which, together with China, is the fastest-growing market for Sun. Sun also has a development centre in India.

"I would hardly say the world has adopted open source yet," McNealy said. The challenge is in getting the message out, he added. Sun's own open-source pitch has not been heard around the world, according to McNealy.

There have been nearly 8 million downloads of Solaris in the last two years, and there are 900 systems certified to run Solaris, which is more than any Linux distribution, McNealy said.