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We were WRONG about SUN Microsystems

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/aptech_story.asp?category=1700&slug=Earns%20Sun%20Microsystems

Life would have been dull without these folks.
There may not be a return to "Microsoft is a menace" days. But a sober, profiting SUN is good for the industry.

Linux/Openoffice is growing stronger by the day and it needs Sun's support  via Java/OpenOffice. The death of SUN would mean the death of a lot of things.

"Server unit volume growth jumped 46 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, McNealy said. During that time, Sun released systems based on its new UltraSparc IV as well as Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Opteron processor.
"It all appears to have come together," said Caris & Co. analyst Mark Stahlman, referring to Sun's strategy of using its own chip as well as others."

Karthik 
Thursday, July 22, 2004

By "We", i mean a few trolls (Yours truly included) who used to post about SUN's clownish behaviour

Karthik 
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Soem choice quotes from said article:

"saw sales jump for the first time in three years"

"For the three months ended June 30, Sun earned $795 million" -- "compared with a loss of $1.04 billion...  in the same period last year" -- "The results, however, were boosted by Sun's $1.95 billion settlement with Microsoft"

"Excluding one-time items like the settlement and restructuring charges, Sun lost $169 million" -- "compared with a profit of $24 million, or 1 cent per share, in the same period last year."

Despite the sale growth, it does't seem that Sun is actually very health.  Profits are now loses, the numbers look good only when compared with Microsoft settlement.

Sun definately does clown around.  They are seriously focused on Microsoft and IBM (what did Joel say about focusing on your customer and not your competition).

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 22, 2004

"This is a company that's in control," said Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive.

No, this is a company which should not exist.  The only reason it does is because Microsoft needs it to exist.

Java deserves better than Sun.

Eric Sink
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Microsoft helped Apple limp along during its lean yars as well, for the same basic reasons - the need for at least one competitor to stay alive.

I expect that Sun will be with us for a good long while, or until MS no longer has a use for them - whichever comes first.

Greg Hurlman
Thursday, July 22, 2004

+1 to what Eric has to say.

Prakash S
Thursday, July 22, 2004

I  knew about the resettlement. But the unit sales increased

Karthik 
Thursday, July 22, 2004

"For the year, Sun lost $376 million, or 11 cents per share, on sales of $11.19 billion, compared with a loss of $3.43 billion, or $1.07 per share, on sales of $11.43 billion, in fiscal 2003."

I'm confused, how does this indicate an increase in sales? Had a good quarter I guess, and they lost a billion less that last year (excluding the settlement).

Anony Coward
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Imo, SUN is in a difficult position. The hardware and operating systems they produce are becoming low-value commodities and they appear to be having a hard time profiting from Java like other companies have.

TruthSeeker
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Rumors of Sun's demise are around since the time HP brought Apollo.  They have competed against HP, SGI, IBM, Microsoft, DEC even DELL and won many battles.

Even Microsoft's products are being commoditized...and they have only software (discounting the fact that it also makes mice and keyboards!).

Sun has both hardware and software and just like people understand that  there is a time and place to use a high priced Oracle database v/s Mysql similarly there are people who understand the value of buying Sun rather than the Microsoft blue screen machines or Linux.

That does not mean that Sun does not have problems.  Once they get their headcount down to a reasonable level  and figure out that letting Java go free is in their longterm interests they will get back on their legs

Code Monkey
Thursday, July 22, 2004

"rather than the Microsoft blue screen machines"

Just can't let it go, can you? Seriously - I've seen two blue screens in the last three years (both the result of a failing hard drive). Why no epithet about linux?

We'll try again - use a negative epithet or an ad hominem or some overused negative stereotype and all you accomplish is getting your own argument discredited wholesale.

For example, no matter how valid your analysis here, as soon as I got to "Microsoft blue screen machines" then I figured it was all worthless rationalization.

Just MHO

Philo

Philo
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Welcome back Philo. I had not noticed you here for sometime.  We are lost without our Boswell.

Karthik
Friday, July 23, 2004

"Sun has both hardware and software and just like people understand that..."

However, people are now discovering that you don't need an expensive Sun machine.  Remember, Sun was a workstation provider.  Do they even compete with PC workstations anymore?  For servers, you can get 2 or 3 PC servers, with SCSI and RAID, for a fraction of the cost.  If one dies, you just replace it.

Almost Anonymous
Friday, July 23, 2004

"Just can't let it go, can you? "  Who's the one not letting it go?  Maybe you haven't seen a bsod recently Philo, but let me tell you as one person still doing a lot of work in the NT trenches, there are still bsod's applenty.  If fact, I have extra's if you need some;)  The mantra that "well, most bsod's are driver issues"  while probably true, does not help me.

"However, people are now discovering that you don't need an expensive Sun machine"
There really isn't a need for Sun's hardware at the low end.  But when you want/need to scale up, Dell sure isn't going to be there.  About the only x86 manufacturer with scale up would be Unisys.  If you want 72 procs in a box you need Sun or some other vendor with high end (non-commodity) hardware.

Formerly someone else
Friday, July 23, 2004

"but let me tell you as one person still doing a lot of work in the NT trenches, there are still bsod's applenty. "

I'm just trying to imagine what would happen if I went on /. and bitched about linux because the 2.0 kernel sucks so bad...

Philo

Philo
Friday, July 23, 2004

Philo wrote:

>Seriously - I've seen two blue screens in the last three years (both the result of a failing hard drive). Why no epithet about linux?

Well it is true that there are not too many blue screens per se but the I have seem windows machines (Win2K & XP Professional) freezing solid that a hardboot was required. Solution...to have a power strip which could be turned on/off remotely! As far as Linux goes....yes it happens sometimes too but not as frequently.

But you miss the point...Microsoft charges for their OS and generally (atleast to the normal population) does not provide source code so there is nothing one can do about it..contrast that to Linux and you will see the point I was trying to make.

The normal excuse I get from Windows apologists is that it is not the OS fault but the drivers...fine but I don't give a damn...I just want the whole thing to work and if not atleast tell me what the problem is. 

But I digress....the reason why Sun will be around is that they have a much stable OS (Solaris), much better multiprocessor implementation, much better level of premium support.

Most people do not realize is that in some situations it is not really about what the damn box cost initially....Sun might cost double...but if you are paying for Oracle it makes sense to pay extra for reliable hardware/software on which to run it. 

Code Monkey
Friday, July 23, 2004

"I'm just trying to imagine what would happen if I went on /. and bitched about linux because the 2.0 kernel sucks so bad..."


You can get a newer version of Linux for free.  You can't get a newer version of Windows for free.  Not all necessary business apps run on newer versions of Windows - yes I know that's not Microsoft's fault per se, but that does not help me.

You get to use new Microsoft technologies - good.  The new ones are better - agreed.  What probably gives a lot of people a bad taste is how much Microsoft hyped NT - the UNIX killer (ha ha, what a joke).  My company switched from Novell to NT, looking back they regret it.  They would have been much better waiting for 2000 or later if they were going to migrate.

Oh well, going forward there is enough competition that Microsoft can't afford to put out junk and hype it, or even if there isn't enough competition in some arenas, people are much more skeptical of the pie in the sky claims coming from Redmond.

Formerly someone else
Friday, July 23, 2004

Me developer, me see several bsods or freezes daily on both NT4 and 2K. Me don't think drivers crash more often on development machines when doing only high level development.

Me no see such things on Linux servers running same server software as Windoze machines. Without upgrade to kernel 2.6.

But on Linux servers with same hardware me see 30% higher speed for same server software! Without upgrade to kernel 2.6!

Me willing to give up neanderthal technology, only not supported by software vendors. Many of software vendors have soft, highly sensitive parts in hand of other.

In the past, me see softimage developed by MS for MS (after buying out) for NT freezin' NT because out of mem, loadink same scene and even reasonably workink on it on same hardware on Linux. Maybe usink undocumented APIs firing back when least expectink.

And BTW, me see Sun hardware with Solaris runnink maybe five times slower than ten times cheaper hardware with other commercial OS (not Windows). Me no give much credit to Sun, shame Sun still controls Java. But Java too much momentum this to beink problem.

A_flj_
Monday, July 26, 2004

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