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Sun is solaris; and solaris, sun.

Sun is solaris; and solaris, sun. Watchers of Scott McNealys company have always returned to that axiom at the end of the day. But over the years, Sun has repeatedly tried to spice up its message with things that ultimately turn out to be distractions. Some of these diversions, such as Java, have been longer-lasting and of greater value than others. StarOffice is merely an anti-Microsoft digression. Jonathan Schwartzs comment to Senior Editor Peter Galli regarding the companys Linux strategy, "We dont have one," says what many observers have believed for some time, despite Suns acquisition of Linux appliance maker Cobalt and McNealys appearance onstage in a penguin suit last year.

The latest diversion is a new pricing model. Although Schwartz is claiming that its vastly cheaper than anything that competes, including Linux, a close look reveals less there than meets the eye. As Galli reports, you can implement Java Enterprise System only on a Solaris server, the price of which is not included in the revolutionary calculations. The pricing push is about to become a carcass for the total-cost-of-ownership crowd to pick over. The results are likely to be inconclusive.

As a supplier of enterprise application software, Microsoft holds up its end of the bargain with Exchange 2003, which includes a plethora of improvements. Technical Analyst Michael Caton reports that youll need expert administrators to effectively migrate to Exchange 2003 and to configure it for your users needs. And you may want to have those administrators disable some default settings that are not particularly security-friendly, such as Outlook Web Access. As a result, the number of companies that choose to upgrade right away wont be too large, said Caton. "Active Directory is still somewhat expensive, and many people havent upgraded to Exchange 2000 yet," he said.

Microsoft can do better in the realm of updates, Brian Livingston says in his Known Issues column. Windows Update traffic is eating up exorbitant amounts of bandwidth as users download patches right and left. The problem is simple: noncacheable files. Is Microsoft listening?

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