This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

A New Solaris Dawns for Sun Micro

In a push to regain some of its lost luster, Sun Microsystems will take the wraps off Solaris 10, an updated version of its operating system, at an event in San Jose, Calif., on Monday.

The launch of Solaris 10 is significant not just for Sun but industrywide: Solaris is the most commonly deployed commercial version of Unix for servers, more popular than proprietary software from Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

The debut is also a linchpin in the Santa Clara, Calif.-based server and storage marker's efforts to restyle itself from a hardware company to computer systems outfit.

In line with that shift, Sun will provide Solaris 10 for free and make it available on hardware from competing vendors, powered by processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, in addition to chips from Sun.

As part of its effort to boost Solaris, executives said in September that the company will begin rewarding its salesforce for software-only sales -- even when Solaris is packaged with hardware from a competing vendor.

For example, if one of Sun's salespeople sells Solaris to a customer with Dell systems, he will now be rewarded as if he had sold the underlying Dell hardware, President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Schwartz said at the time.

"I think [Sun management] believes, correctly, that what has enamored people with Sun in the past is the power of its OS, not the gear. People really wanted to stay with Solaris but were tired of the expensive gear," said Frank Gillett, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "The bottom line is, Sun's recovery and return to respect hinges on the success of its OS and particular on Solaris 10."

Gillett said there are sound strategic reasons to offer the software at no cost. By encouraging customers to stick with Solaris, Sun can maintain ties and hopefully sell them on server or storage hardware later on. Moreover, many business customers are more than willing to pay for support for software from Linux vendors, he pointed out. Sun hopes to make money from fees for such support, too.

Research from Forrester suggests that Solaris has remained popular among large business customers, even as tech watchers have sounded more skeptical in recent years about the prospects of Sun's hardware business. In a survey of 129 large North American companies, the results of which were released in June, Forrester found that 43 used Solaris, and of that group 83% planned to buy at least 10 more copies over the next three years.

"So all this handwringing about 'Sun is dead' is a bunch of hooey," said Gillett, "though I don't want to diminish that they've had a huge perception problem and customer defections."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,115.79 +9.09 0.05%
S&P 500 2,000.83 +0.81 0.04%
NASDAQ 4,572.25 +1.6130 0.04%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs