Sun Pursues Infrastructure Mission - Page 3

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COO Schwartz was next up, and started off by saying it was important to note that developers, who are very important to Sun, do not buy things, they join them.

"More developers adopted Sun technologies in 2005 than in the entire history of the company," he said, adding that Sun would be a retailer for developers, but there was no single model for this.

Suns sales force now only calls on those customers who have already downloaded its Solaris operating environment, which would mean they were already aware of its products.

/zimages/4/28571.gifIs there likely to be code-swapping between Solaris and Linux any time soon? Click here to read more.

"A perfect customer for us is one we dont visit, who places their orders over the Web, and [one for whom] we can use a local partner to support them," he said.

Losing market share and customers to Red Hat and Linux would be far better than losing it to Microsoft Windows, he said.

The barrier to exit from Solaris to Linux is low, but the one for moving back from Red Hat to Solaris is even lower, while the exit cost from Windows would be much higher, he said, adding that Sun was certifying that it was binary-compatible with Red Hat Linux.

"Our software will be most appealing if it runs on hardware in addition to ours, while our servers will be most appealing if they run software other than Solaris. We are going to be multi-OS on the server side and multi-platform on the software side, because, as we grow the overall market we participate in, we can bring more of our customers into our product fold," Schwartz said.

Asked about Suns relationship with HP, Schwartz said the company had an interesting problem on its hands, as, "they ended life for their PA-RISK architecture, and so enterprises can either upgrade to Itanium or they can move to HPs Proliant servers. Moving from the HP-UX operating system to Solaris has a very low cost," he said.

Of the 4-million Solaris licenses delivered over the past year, more than two-thirds of these were on non-Sun hardware, primarily on HP x86 hardware, he said, adding, "HP is becoming a more interesting partner to Sun over time as they have come to be so much less threatening to us in the enterprise."

On the financial front and with regard to Suns standing on Wall Street, McNealy said, "We need to see some revenue growth, there is no doubt about that. But our gross margins have been improving and we have done a great job of reducing costs."

For his part, Schwartz said, "Growth is our number one priority."

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