After all the speculation about what would happen to Solaris after Oracle bought out Sun, Oracle has released Solaris 11.
The did release updates for Solaris 10, but Solaris 11 is the first fully Oracle-based editon. Wow has everything changed.
The disk images can be downloaded at no cost from Oracle's website, provided you create an account. There is even a Virtualbox image that you can use.
Strangely enough, the VM image seems to work on a 32-bit system depending on the settings, despite Solaris 11 being strictly 64-bit. Just goes to show you what kind of emulation technology we really have.
This is the default desktop.
There really is nothing new here, it's just the same old GNOME desktop, which is the same as Solaris 9 and Ubuntu 10.
The whole "Java Desktop System" branding thing has been eradicated (it had nothing to do with Java anyways), and it no longer tries to mimic the start menu.
As is expected, applications are located in a separate menu on the top bar. Launcher applets and the system stuff is also located in the top bar, and the bottom bar contains the window list and a desktop switcher.
Solaris continues to use the same old Nautilus file manager.
Oracle's Package Manager allows for the easy download and install of applications from a central repository.
Interestingly OpenOffice is not included, and I don't see it here either.
"Start here" is a simple welcome screen tutorial thing that includes links to common tasks and help files.