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Sun Microsystems: Ready for a Come Back?

After a series of weak quarters, Sun maybe on the edge of a new beginning as it puts into action the key components for a bounce back.

Sun Microsystems' future may not be as bleak as the media portrays it. The release of Solaris10 and the latest management and product strategy transformations may stir up the much needed and long awaited market traction for Sun Microsystems.

The Solaris10 release is going to be a major Sun offering in a very long time. Many of the functional upgrades and features offered by Solaris10 could be of a huge value to a wide range of customers.

Sun's latest strategy and the Solaris10 release offer a number of important technical and functional features that may result in producing positive traction in the market:

*Sun Microsystems' Announcement of a Free version of its Solaris operating system.

Anyone who registers with Sun will be able to use Solaris for free on servers with x86 processors. Sun will provide free security updates in the free Solaris version and will charge a very low annual subscription fee for fixes and support. This is an ambitious effort by Sun to win back the market share they lost to Linux in the past.

*Sun Microsystems' Strategy of Targeting Linux Market Share.

Solaris‚??s main rivals are Linux, Microsoft's Windows and Unix based products like IBM's AIX and Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX. Linux is without a doubt an emerging force with a rapidly growing market. According to International Data Corp (IDC), Linux servers posted a ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth with year-over-year revenue growth of 42.6% and unit shipments up 31.7%. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Sun is aggressively going after Linux's market share. Its premature to know how successful will Sun really be in this battle, however, it is clearly a step in the right direction.

*Solaris 10 will also Run Linux Applications.

The Project Janus initiative, promising Sun software will allow Red Hat Enterprise Linux software to run on the x86 version of Solaris. This functionality will also allow customers to lower their IT costs in many ways. It will allow IT organizations to run Solaris and Linux applications on a single system, increasing server utilization, creating cross-platform development efficiencies and flexibility. Sun is offering this valuable feature for free with the upcoming release of Solaris10. This Solaris-Linux compatibility is a wise strategic functionality being offered by the Solaris10 release. It is a smart strategy. At a minimum, it can soften the passage for those who may be considering a move to Solaris and at the same time keep current Sun customers from going to Linux.

* Sun Microsystems plans to provide Free Litigation Support relating to Patent-Infringement Lawsuits.

When Sun Microsystems releases Solaris as open-source software, it plans to provide legal protection from patent-infringement suits to customers using or developing the operating system. Some of the largest technology firms including IBM and HP routinely offer similar incentives to lure customers and expand their market share. This is another way by which Sun hopes to make Solaris more competitive.

*Support for 64-bit x86 processors, including AMD's Opteron and Intel's Xeon.

*About 600,000 copies of Solaris have been downloaded so far.

With the beginning of an economic upturn, majority of the world's largest IT organizations are likely to soon initiate new strategic planning cycles for their technology infrastructures, and the release of a strong new product cycle (Solaris10) and the latest strategic transformations may give Sun the promising opportunity to recover and possibly even succeed.

According to surveys, 83% of Solaris customers plan to keep installing Solaris. This is good news for Sun because the Solaris10 release will only strengthen their existing market share and help gain more ground.

Should Sun execute wisely; it has the ability to recover, continue to be a major competitor, and achieve a modest increase in its market share.

By: Shawn Sheik of myTechnologyAvisor.com

  Silicon Valley, California.

More: http://www.mytechnologyadvisor.com

Posted 2004-11-30, 01:23 GMT by Shawn Sheik

Sun strengthens OS and storage offerings

It was difficult to miss the important announcements that Sun Microsystems made Monday, Nov. 15. The company announced a new OS, Solaris 10; a new file system, ZFS (zettabyte file system); plus a handful of storage-specific products, including management software, two new storage arrays, and a new tape library.

More: InfoWorld

Posted 2004-11-24, 09:47 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Sun takes the wraps off of Solaris 10

Between settling lawsuits with Microsoft, litigating over Java, releasing x86 servers, and embracing Linux, Sun has somehow found the time to finish up and unveil Solaris 10, the latest version of its operating system. In development for a number of years, Solaris 10 cost over US$500 million in research and development and boasts over 600 new features. The cost? Nothing. Due to be officially released in January 2005, Solaris 10 will be a free release, with Sun charging a fee for subscriptions and other support.

More: ArsTechnica

Posted 2004-11-16, 22:14 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Solaris 10: Sun Struts Its Stuff, Details New Opportunities

"Solaris 10 is the biggest thing Sun has done in the past nine years, pretty much since our first SPARC hardware launch," McNealy said.

More: eWeek

Posted 2004-11-16, 22:12 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Sun Ready to Open Solaris

Sun Microsystems Inc. is getting closer to making its Open Solaris project, along with the final pieces of Solaris 10, a reality.

At its quarterly SunNetwork Conference, to be held at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., Nov. 15, Sun will unveil Open Solaris and give final pricing and other details for Solaris 10. The Santa Clara, Calif., company is also expected to announce an annual subscription-type licensing model for Solaris 10, due by year's end.

More: eWeek

Posted 2004-11-02, 20:07 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

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Last modified: 2002-02-25