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Sun Rises in Server Sales

Sun Microsystems (SUNW) boosted its sales of corporate servers by double digits in the second quarter of the year at a time when the other leading server manufacturers experienced a slight decline in revenue.

According to industry research firm IDC, Sun's total server revenue reached $1.58 billion during the April-through-June time frame, up 15.5% from the same period a year ago.

The rising sales helped Sun regain its No. 3 rank in market share, which it had lost to Dell (DELL) during the past year.

Dell generated $1.27 billion in server revenue during the second quarter, down 0.5% year over year.

IBM (IBM), the No.1 server company, had a 2.2% decline in sales, while Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) sales were down 1.7%.

IDC research vice president Jean Bozman credited Sun's growth to its recently introduced line of x86 servers featuring the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Opteron processor, as well as the company's installed base of RISC-based machines.

The IDC figures mark the second consecutive quarter of strong server growth for Sun, which is in the midst of company-wide reorganization under the helm of new CEO Jonathan Schwartz. In May, Schwartz announced that the company was laying off 5,000 employees.

Industrywide, IDC said server revenue grew a scant 0.6% during the second quarter to $12.3 billion, although unit shipments were up 8.3%.

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