Leaving aside the performance improvements and re-engineering and architectural changes in Solaris 11, one of the significant and noticeable changes that comes along with Solaris 11 is the introduction of a lot of GNU tools out of the box. To make it even better, they replace the UNIX default versions.
This is my opinion is significant shift in approach from Sun (Oracle) for good reasons allowing users, admins to use more powerful features of the GNU tools that were missing from the default versions.
To mention a couple,
1. With GNU find utility, you have more control on your ability to search with features like the depth of the directories in recursive searches.
2. With GNU tar utility, you can now tar and gunzip togethor in a single command.
All the installed GNU tools are under
and the following is the list of GNU tools available out of the box with the default installation: