Amid Losses, Sun Tries To Highlight Progress - InformationWeek

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Amid Losses, Sun Tries To Highlight Progress

Sun Microsystems lost $286 million in its fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 28 as revenue fell 8% year over year to $2.5 billion. With Sun's sales off more than 40% from their peak and the company losing money in eight of the last 10 quarters, no wonder company execs want to talk about what Sun is doing differently. CFO Steve McGowan said in a conference call that services revenue was the highest ever for a first quarter.

Jonathan Schwartz

Solaris 9 server shipments are a positive sign for Sun, executive VP Schwartz says.

Jonathan Schwartz
Executive VP for software Jonathan Schwartz says Sun is shipping more one- and two-way Intel servers running the company's operating system, Solaris 9. The move is a low-end server play to counter competition from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. "Dell doesn't own its own operating system," Schwartz says, which gives it a fixed cost per Windows server that it can't control. Sun is intent on driving down software prices, says Schwartz, who contends that the server software bundle it's offering at $100 per employee per year is an industry-leading low price. "It's more fun to be the disrupter than the disruptee," he says.

Sun has shipped 300,000 copies of its Solaris 9 operating system on Intel since February, a crucial figure if the company is going to show that it can compete in the low-end server market. Says Schwartz, "I know we're on the right track."

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