Feeds

Sun punts cheap PCs at blue collar workers

Our hairball is cheaper than their hairball

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The network is still the computer, Sun insisted today, only now it includes cheap PCs too.

Kicking off Sun's Network conference in San Francisco, Scott McNealy talked about "light purple box" desktop hardware, as opposed to "white box" PCs. Education, government and retail banking are targets.

But Sun has heartlessly condemned the bourgeois to a life of Wintel, judging by comments Jonathan Schwartz made to the New York Times. Schwartz said Sun "had no immediate plans to try to compete with Microsoft for the heart of its user base: white-collar workers and managers."

Call centres might make a natural target for cheap PCs, but they make an even better customer for thin client computing, where applications are rolled out centrally, where there's little or no call for local storage. (And little opportunity for end users to muck things up, although denying the call center staff any distraction from their drudgery is cruel indeed).

This is the SunRay model, the MetaFrame/Windows Terminal Server model, and both are pretty mature now. The fact that a fat PC - and it's still fat no matter how cheap it is - suggests that this architecture doesn't quite have what it takes. If it did, we'd be hearing about JavaStations or new SunRays today. So perhaps thin client computing died when we weren't looking.

McNealy didn't name a price in his keynote for the desktop PC. (We'll update this as soon as we know). But he did dwell on the price of StarOffice at $55.95 and claimed Sun partner Telstra was moving to the suite and ditching Microsoft Office for most of its staff.

That neatly sums up Sun's pitch. The awful StarOffice may be ideologically correct, but it's an unlovely experience that defines as well as anything else Scot's favorite word: hairball. I'm yet to meet someone who prefers using StarOffice over Microsoft Office 2000 (XP is a mess) for purely aesthetic reasons.

Nevertheless with the cost of a Microsoft Windows license now double that of a bare bones computer, such aesthetics are trumped by cost considerations.

McNealy gave an overview of Sun's position that is mostly familiar to regulars, but he did single out the 1.2Ghz UltraSPARC III processor with reduced power consumption (53w) and the return of Les Kohn to Sun, via the purchase of Afara Websystems. No more specifics on Afara hardware yet. ®

Related Stories

UltraSPARC III hits 1.2GHz
Sun chip chief: real men can't afford fabs

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.