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Sun gets splash of HP sauce

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Analysis The way that HP has slagged off Sun, over the last two days, you'd think that it was frightened of Scott McNealy or something. There's no doubt that the redoubtable Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP, is waging a war of words against Sun and conveying the message, through layers of Cupertino apparatchiks, that HP/UX is the saviour of corporate America. Sometimes, indeed, HP suits get a little wild in their statements about Sun and what large corporations in the US have to say about Mr McNealy's famous Unix boxes. A senior geezer at HP, who we shan't name here to protect his voicemail from being clogged with calls, told The Register yesterday: "Corporate customers are saying Sun isn't telling them enough about the future of UltraSparc and UltraSparc III. [Formerly loyal customers] are pulling us in for talks." He then, rather unwisely in our opinion, named one of these firms. It's a major semiconductor materiel manufacturer and its initials are AP so it doesn't take much figuring out. But can it be true that corporate America is abandoning Scott's toothsome Sun boxes for HP's range of Unix servers? The last six months seem to show that rather than this being the case, droves of them have bought Sun, and that was reflected in the firm's latest financial quarter. Talking of financial quarters, HP's results are out last week and don't forget that this means that we're in the quiet period, where no-one dare breathe a word about financials. This has got to be the noisiest quiet period ever. At least six suits gave us the broadest of hints that HP would turn in super duper financial results next week, and that would reflect excellent sales of Unix boxes. Cupertino cutie, winsome Carly Fiorina, is expected to stand up at some point next week and tell the world and its dog that HP/UX is the bee's knees. While the HP suits were primarily occupied in trashing Sun, they also took time out to give Compaq and IBM a bit of a kicking. Compaq, they claim, is only picking up business from existing DEC customers, and even WildFire, which is launched next Tuesday, is nothing special, according to HP. According to HP, Big Blue is being a tad laggardly in getting its act together on the big boxes too, and if you believe the firm, its multi OS platform consisting of HP/UX, Windows NT and Linux is unbeatable. But maybe HP had better make up its mind about which Linux distributor gets the bundling deal for its A class series, which it launched yesterday. Although the machines are available in around a month's time, HP has still not made up its mind on who gets the biz. ® Register Factoid No. 22 HP Sauce, beloved of ex-UK prime minister Harold Wilson, is absolutely excellent for cleaning copper coins.

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