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Sun Announces Its First Laptop

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the new-machine dept.

Sun Microsystems 365

boarder8925 writes "Enterprise computer maker Sun Microsystems announced its first-ever laptop yesterday, saying the machine was designed to let engineers and scientists perform demanding computer tasks away from their desks. Sun, which has seen sales fall for the last four years, said that it was also lowering prices for some of its computers by up to 40 percent."

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Partnering with Sun? (5, Interesting)

XorNand (517466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946174)

Running my own small VAR/intergrator shop, Sun has really piqued my interest recently. Right now, I'm kinda in limbo as far as aligning myself with a server vendor.

I can't stand dealing with HP on a number of levels, one being how they've handled the Proliant brand of servers. Dell couldn't possiblity have a decent channel partner program since their whole business model is focused on direct sales. IBM is an option, but it's apparent that they're trying to get out of the hardware business and further into the more lucrative services biz. The (obvious) alliance between IBM Global Services and IBM's hardware divisions would make me feel like I'm sleeping with the devil. The big selloff to Lenovo was the real wakeup call for me. And rounding out the bunch: Toshiba seems to only be half interested in playing in the space, and their lackluster offerings reflect that.

Sun interests me because they have brand recognition and seem to be increasingly investing in the market. Until rather recently, I didn't even know that they sold wintel boxes. However, news such as the release of this notebook further shows their intent on being a contendor. My biggest concern is that Sun gear tends to overly pricey, but if they're addressing that I might just start buying from them. Does anyone have experience with partnering with Sun on the hardware end of things? What kind of reputation do they have? Or can anyone suggest another server vendor that I could investigate? I realize there are a thousand white box vendors out there, but I'm more interested in a mature partner program: coop marketing opportunities, top-notch support resources, etc.

Re:Partnering with Sun? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946347)

My biggest concern is that Sun gear tends to overly pricey, but if they're addressing that I might just start buying from them.

While Suns tend to be pricey, it's because their built like tanks (both in terms of chasis/frame, and from CPU and internal layout). Like Macs, they're designed to work well, and you have to pay the designers.

A while ago AnandTech had a review [anandtech.com] on Sun's V40z [sun.com] .

You could also call up Sun and ask them for a loaner. They frequently let let people try out machines for a couple of weeks to run them through their paces. You can get either Solaris or Linux installed. BTW, make you open the box up and look at the internals: they're very well designed from a space, air flow, and maintenance point of view (part of the cost).

Re:Partnering with Sun? (4, Insightful)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946349)

Until rather recently, I didn't even know that they sold wintel boxes.
Because, until recently, they didn't. I've worked with applications running on Sun boxes for a number of years, at one point during the tech boom, they were a must have, but now they are just over priced. Sure this article talks of some lower prices (for wintel desktops) but I'm sure they still want big money for anything that can be called a server.

If you are looking for a partner, choose a Linux builder, there's plenty of them out there,many with the warrenty and service plans which I am sure your customers are looking for, don't be afraid to 'go local' with a white box builder. Some are really good, and they might even be able to throw some business your way.

Re:Partnering with Sun? (3, Insightful)

alienw (585907) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946476)

If you want to have every problem imaginable, go with a white-box builder. Hardware these days usually has very poor compatibility, produces lots of heat, and has other issues. A shop that slaps together PCs with no regard for quality assurance, engineering, and compatibility testing will sink your business in no time, and most local shops are exactly like that.

Unlike Sun or Dell or any other large commercial maker, a small shop won't have a compatibility testing lab where machines are subjected to hundreds of tests to verify performance. They are generally happy if the box gets to the POST screen. When compounded with the fact that Linux is rather picky about hardware (due to varying driver quality), you really don't want to buy an untested, unproven solution from some garage-based PC builder.

Well technically... (4, Informative)

bluGill (862) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946523)

Back before the sparc, and after the 68020 sun3, Sun had some i386 machines that you could call wintel. (though nobody used Windows then, and I'm not sure if Dos would run). They also made the sun3x in those days, both of which didn't sell many. (In part because the sparc soon came out, and in those days the sparc killed the 80386.

Poor track record (2, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946435)

Just keep in mind that Sun has a very consistent track record of trying out the low end market, only to decide that they'd be better off sticking with the high end, after all. You may end up stuck with no support in just a few months. Really, Sun should just keep doing what they're good at, instead of continually trying to break into the hyper-competitive (read: profitless) consumer market. The just got finished discontinuing their brand new Java Desktop (today), and they've tried PC's numerous times. Of course, they could've used their Java Desktop on their new laptop, but that would require more than one weeks' foresight, which is obviously more than the management can handle.

Re:Poor track record (1)

oldenuf2knowbetter (124106) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946580)

I call BS.

Sun has always (well, for at least the last 15 years) offered a range of products from desktop to large servers. They've never abandoned any part of that range. They have, like all vendors, introduced products which weren't big hits and which were ultimately discontinued, but they've never simply abandoned any part of their product range.

Also, "they've tried PCs numerous times"? Care to name a couple of those times?

Re:Partnering with Sun? (1)

brighton (561425) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946467)

Why don't you just build them yourself? It takes me less than a couple hours to build them and I can charge at least $100 /hr for that time and still way undercut the markup of the main server vendors. As an added bonus, I get to choose the parts I like working with , and can fix them much easier if/when they go down.

Yes, but... (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946180)

Can that run Linux?

$3,400 (3, Interesting)

thzinc (679235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946182)

Geez, if they really want to coax developers, they should target the sub-$2,000 developers, though, I'm no marketing genius...

Re:$3,400 (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946251)

You think $3,400 is bad? You obviously haven't shopped for a Sparc laptop from Tadpole! [tadpolecomputer.com]

Re:$3,400 (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946333)

I remember when you could get a luggable from Tadpole that had more power then a 4x Intel server. Man those were the days, before Intel's marketing killed off all of the superior chips.

Re:$3,400 (1)

Proc6 (518858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946414)

I think you mean "before Intel's superior chips killed off all the marketing hype".

I remember buying a 180 Mhz Pentium Pro that rendered Softimage scenes about 5x faster than a 100Mhz INDY that cost 5x as much.

Re:$3,400 (4, Funny)

enigmatichmachine (214829) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946429)

and it weigh's over 20 LBS and has no battery, I would call a tadpole a "laptop form factor computer", kinda like how kraft has to call that stuff it makes "processed cheese food"

Re:$3,400 (0)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946289)

Its not even a Sparc its an AMD running x86 Solaris 10...

But then, I'd rather have a x86 CPU, so I could use boot into linux and windows.

Re:$3,400 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946324)

Its not even a Sparc its an AMD running x86 Solaris 10...

That's not correct. The $3,400 laptop is Sparc. The $895 workstation is AMD. From TFA:

"The Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation will list at $3,400 and is equipped with Sun's Ultrasparc processor, the Solaris 10 operating system, 512 megabytes of memory, a 40 gigabyte hard drive and WiFi connectivity."

You mean, something like this? (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946353)

By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Published Monday 27th June 2005 14:42 GMT

Sun Microsystems has polished off its cheapest and likely most attractive Opteron-based workstation to date.

The hardware maker today introduced the world to the Ultra 20 a one-way (one socket) box that starts at $895. That price has to please a lot of Sun customers who complained when the much higher-end W2100z amd W1100z workstations arrived, costing thousands of dollars. With the Ultra 20, Sun is really delivering some of the price/performance benefits associated with x86 chips to the developer crowd.

Sun has long been a major player in the workstation market, pumping out Solaris on SPARC boxes for engineers, developers and designers. The rise, however, of Intel Xeon's processor ate into a huge chunk of Sun's workstation share. Sun's line of Opteron-based systems is its response to this loss, and the Ultra 20 is the first box in this line aimed square at developers.

Sun unveiled the system at its Java One conference which starts today in San Francisco.

"This system is meant to reach a much broader audience," said John Fowler, Sun's vice president in charge of the x86 systems. "Java One is the world's biggest developer conference, so it made sense to show it off there."

While you can buy the Ultra 20 flat out just like any another bit of hardware, Sun also has a much weirder pricing option. Customers can pay $30 per month over three years ($1,080) and get the system, Solaris 10, Java Studio Enterprise 7, Java Studio Creator and support. This package full of Java tools is meant for the developer crowd.

Initially, the Ultra 20 will ship with a single-core version - 1.8GHz to 2.6GHz - of AMD's Opteron. As El Reg reported last week, AMD will make a dual-core version of this 100 Series chip available in the third quarter. (AMD confirmed the move to customers in a note issued Friday.)

The Ultra 20 also ships with up to 4GB of memory, up to 2 SATA drives (80GB or 250GB), six USB 2.0 ports and two IEEE 1394a ports. The box will run Solaris x86, Red Hat and SuSE Linux 32-bit and 64-bit and Windows XP Pro 32-bit and 64-bit.

Sun continues to see a sharp rise in it Opteron system sales. The company is currently battling with HP for the top spot among all Opteron server sellers.

Sun has enjoyed particular success in Germany where it holds 41 per cent of the Opteron server market versus 23 per cent for HP, according to the first quarter figures from Gartner.

You can see the Ultra 20 in all its glory available here.

Along with the Ultra 20, Sun also pointed to the new Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation, which runs on its UltraSPARC chip and starts at $3,400. This system looks like a rebranded version of a Tadpole laptop. ®

http://www.sun.com/desktop/workstation/ultra20/rev [sun.com] iews.jsp
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/27/sun_ultra2 [theregister.co.uk] 0_opteron/

Great, a $340 Sun Laptop like my Linux Laptop (0, Flamebait)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946185)

oh.
wait.

um, $3400?

oh well ...

Re:Great, a $340 Sun Laptop like my Linux Laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946449)

Where did you get this $340 laptop? I'm not kidding. Linkage much appreciated.

Sun laptop? Isn't that an oxymoron? (4, Interesting)

caryw (131578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946190)

Sun has never been super keen on the design aspect of the computer world, not that I agree there should even be a design aspect in mind when it comes to computers. I hope they don't expect to put an E450 in a backpack and call it a laptop.

Any guesses as to how much this behemoth is going to weigh?
--
Fairfax Underground: Fairfax County, VA forums and chat [fairfaxunderground.com]

Re:Sun laptop? Isn't that an oxymoron? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946390)

Well if it's from Sun you can bet it will be completely undpowered and feeble compared to even the cheapest nastiest generic PC offering. It will have ancient memory chips that hold 4MB each and giant SCSI 1 drives.

Weight ? About 50 kilos.

Seriously what on Earth do people like Sun even bother for anymore. May as well just fade away into irrelevance like SGI.

The days of people paying enormous sums for clunky old Unix based machines intended for 'serious computing' that don't perform are over.

Obviously no one bothered to inform Sun of this fact who still think there is some sort of a chance.

Just give up Sun.

Not as heavy (4, Funny)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946191)

It doesn't seem big enough (dimension-wise) to fulfill it's purpose.

I mean, in two years will it be able to hold down as much paper from blowing away as a full-size SparcStation does?

does anyone still care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946192)

After the whole push for servers and "we are the network" does a solaris laptop really matter anymore?

Not the first SPARC laptop though (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946193)

There was a company called Tadpole that made SPARC laptops before. Dunno if they're still around.

Re:Not the first SPARC laptop though (4, Informative)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946210)

Tadpole is still around. Lots of goodies here:

http://www.tadpolecomputer.com/html/products/mobil e/ [tadpolecomputer.com]

No prices listed, but they have SPARC laptops!

Re:Not the first SPARC laptop though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946573)

In fact, the Sun laptop looks like its just a Tadpole according to this page [sun.com] .

Re:Not the first SPARC laptop though (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946506)

Funny, I always thought Sun resold the Tadpole laptops. Does this mean they're reselling them now, or are these not Tadpoles?

Already do demanding tasks away from the desk (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946196)

When I need my computer to do a really demanding task when I'm not at the desk, I usually start the task, go do something else, and then come back and hope it's finished!

Re:Already do demanding tasks away from the desk (1)

SamQ (896234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946296)

Hmmmm,
If I'm doing a job that requires a Sun box, it's usually one that requires a large pot of good coffee, a very large LCD screen and a very comfy chair...

...Oh and a beast of a Sun box stationed somewhere in the vicinity. I can't see myself doing the same task on a busy Virgin cross-country train (doh!)


Re:Already do demanding tasks away from the desk (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946459)

When I need my computer to do a really demanding task when I'm not at the desk, I usually start the task, go do something else, and then come back and hope it's finished!

Me too. This is what remote computing is for - you can kick off a big, data intensive task from your cellphone, fer chrissakes.

we have been using sun laptops (3, Informative)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946200)

at work for a project, they have been out for a long time AFAIK

plus they run about $17,000 they aren't cheap. i don't know where this article is coming from at all.

Re:we have been using sun laptops (1)

coldcup (15234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946278)

Sun branded, or Solaris running? There have been other companies making laptops which sparcs in them.

Re:we have been using sun laptops (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946304)

i doubt it is the former, could be just branded

but i am not sure, i have never used them, i just see them and see how muhc they cost :o

Re:we have been using sun laptops (1)

KerberosKing (801657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946282)

A SPARC laptop runing Solaris is not new, neither would running Solaris on an x86 laptop be new. Both http://www.tadpolecomputer.com/ [tadpolecomputer.com] and http://www.naturetech.com.tw/_page/index.html [naturetech.com.tw] have been offering SPARC based laptops for quite a while and any x86 laptop on Sun's hardware compatibility list http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/ [sun.com] can run Solaris x86. What's news is this is the first time I have seen Sun offer a first party solution for laptops that get the same service and support offerings Sun provides for their servers and workstations.

Re:we have been using sun laptops (4, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946487)

i don't know where this article is coming from at all.

It's coming from Sun announcing [sun.com] the Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation [sun.com] , although the picture on that page suggests that perhaps Sun are just re-branding Tadpole and Naturetech SPARC laptops. (The announcement mainly talks about a new x86 workstation, but it also mentions the SPARC laptops.)

The article didn't say "first SPARC laptop", it said "Sun announces its first laptop", i.e. the first one that Sun is selling as a Sun, rather than somebody else selling it as a SPARC-compatible.

The Sun announcement clearly says "Entry-level pricing for the Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation begins at $3,400 (USD)." Perhaps, as they've "been out for a long time", your workplace bought SPARC workstations when they were a lot more expensive.

Specifications (1)

CyanDisaster (530718) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946202)

The site seemed to lack many specifications of the laptop, such as screen size/resolution, optical drive, battery life, etc. I'm interested in the laptop, but I'd want more information before I make the decision about purchasing that particular one, or something else...

Hope be with ye,
Cyan

old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946208)

is it strange ive seen sun based laptops before? (ooold)

Hello, welcome to yesterday (3, Informative)

BrK (39585) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946209)

I had a Sun laptop in something like '97. And it wasn't brand new even then.

Re:Hello, welcome to yesterday (4, Informative)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946277)

I had a Sun laptop in something like '97. And it wasn't brand new even then.

There have been Sparc laptops for a long time. They were never build by Sun, though. And they were also hideously expensive, i.e. in the $20,000 range. This is Sun's first foray into this highly dubious market segment.

Re:Hello, welcome to yesterday (1)

BrK (39585) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946337)

Ah, yeah, I see what you mean. My bad for skimming the article.

Oh well, it's too little, too late in either case.

Re:Hello, welcome to yesterday (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946356)

into this highly dubious market segment.

By dubious I assume you mean SPARC laptops, because laptops as a whole are a huge business, accounting for 51% of pc sales by revenue last year and rising.

Re:Hello, welcome to yesterday (1)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946576)

By dubious I assume you mean SPARC laptops, because laptops as a whole are a huge business, accounting for 51% of pc sales by revenue last year and rising.

Yes, that is exactly what I meant. For the earlier generations of Sparc laptops, the main use I saw of those was for chip-design tool vendors to use them for demos. I knew of engineers that wanted one, but no companies that were buying them for that reason.

These days, all of the chip-design tools also run on Linux (and in fact, Linux is used more than Sparc/Solaris these days), and it would be far more economical to do demos on a Linux laptop.

Re:Hello, welcome to yesterday (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946526)

you likely either had a tadpole or a rdi laptop, not a sun laptop. The sparcbooks were tadpole, and rdi had powerlite laptops. Both were sparc based and ran sunos4 or sunos5.

I believe the closest thing sun came to a laptop before now was the voyager luggable.

The first? what about the Tadpole?? (1)

pinkfalcon (215531) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946217)

Any one remember the Tadpole laptop?
While not actually made by Sun, it did run Solaris and I think it had a SPARC chip inside...

Re:The first? what about the Tadpole?? (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946242)

I believe the laptops mentioned in the summary are made by Tadpole and one other company, but will probably be branded as Sun laptops.

Re:The first? what about the Tadpole?? (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946423)

I believe the laptops mentioned in the summary are made by Tadpole and one other company, but will probably be branded as Sun laptops.

Looks that way. The picture on Sun's webpage [sun.com] has 2 laptops, one with a Tadpole logo, and another with a Naturetech logo on the displays.

sun? bet it will be... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946229)

too hot for my lap.

oh man .. (3, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946236)

.. i have, literally, as a computer geek, been praying (not religious) that Sun was going to be doing this.

well, not actually, just this. that Sun would do it. and then SGI would do it.

i tell you, it'd make up for the bizaare experience that can only be described as the last 5 years of 'Apple make the only Unix laptop worth a damn' reality bubble distortion field ..

please, SGI, make us a laptop, put your Linux on it, and make it rock like it should.

*sniff..

Re:oh man .. (1)

minkie (814488) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946537)

i tell you, it'd make up for the bizaare experience that can only be described as the last 5 years of 'Apple make the only Unix laptop worth a damn' reality bubble distortion field ..

I happen to agree with you that OSX on a PowerBook is a heck of a combination (I'm typing on one right now), but you've been able to run Linux or various BSD flavors on Intel laptops for years (the Sony VAIO line, for example, is some very cool hardware). Of course, you need to roll-your-own install, but this is slashdot after all.

Way too much unfair bad publicity (5, Insightful)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946248)

Sun suffers more than anything from a disproportionate and hugely unjust share of bad publicity that is thrown at it. It just had become too fashionable to bash Sun. Whatever Sun does or come up with, you can be certain there'll be a crowd of idiots who'll badmouth it and can't wait to sing its obituary. I don't want to hear nonsense in replies as to why this is so - I don't want to hear anyone tell me any such nonsense; I know this company and I have followed it for years, and fuck you and your thoughtless kneejerk impending-doom reponses to anything Sun does. I know that it innovates and contributes a lot to the industry and to open source, yet all eyes are scornfully on and all tongues are poisonously about it, all the while other giants while in their mediocrity under the radars of the crowds of fucktard wannabe pundits.

Re:Way too much unfair bad publicity (-1, Flamebait)

MeatBlast (834728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946291)

Yet during that entire post you never gave one reason why Sun makes quality computers. In fact you just convinced me that all Sun computer fanboys are assholes. Good Job!

Re:Way too much unfair bad publicity (0)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946318)

Don't like their stuff? then don't use it, and stay the hell away with your unalterable opinions and vitriol or STFU.

Re:Way too much unfair bad publicity (1)

dynamo (6127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946422)

Dude. You are so ironic.

Re:Way too much unfair bad publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946325)

actually i think you are wrong. sun is dead

Now replace all references to Sun in the parent (2, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946328)

Now replace all references to Sun in the parent with references to Microsoft and remove open source and you'll get a good description of Slashdot.

Re:Way too much unfair bad publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946451)

You're complaining about Sun getting a bum rap here when Microsoft gets about a 100x more than deserved bad rap here in at least 5 FUDite articles aout them every single day?

You do no know where you are. If it ain't Linux it's old festering shit!

Re:Way too much unfair bad publicity (4, Funny)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946454)

Gosh, with silver tounged ambassadors like yourself ready to launch a charm offensive on their behalf, how can they possibly lose?

Didn't Tadpole Make One Years Ago? (1)

DaGoodBoy (8080) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946254)

I thought there was a Sparc laptop from Tadpole back in the mid-1990's that Sun promoted for a while. Does anyone else remember that?

Re:Didn't Tadpole Make One Years Ago? (1)

Concern (819622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946338)

I remember something like that, from around that time.

Was it called the Sparcbook?

Re:Didn't Tadpole Make One Years Ago? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946434)

I even have a SPARCbook 2 deep in my closet somewhere. Ahh, good old laptop, 32-bit sparc, 540 MB hard drive... AUI ethernet (woo), 640x480 LCD, and you could beat the *crap* out of someone if you wanted, or deflect bullets to medium-sized ICBMs if you wanted.

Sun's Lsat Chance (0)

MeatBlast (834728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946260)

From the article: "Sun is also loading its newest workstations with free software that it values at thousands of dollars, such as Java Studio Enterprise 7 and Sun Java Studio Creator. The goal is to coax developers to create applications that run on Sun machines, the company said." Sun has dug themselves a pretty deep hole here and only now are they trying to get out of it. There giving away thousand dollar software free on their computers which might convince scientists and business men to buy one but for the normal consumer there is no reason to go and buy a Sun computer. Their designs are ugly and clunky on a desktop computer, I can't begin to imagine how ugly and clunky their laptop computers will be. I wouldn't be suprised to see a slashdot story announcing Sun going out of business within a few months.

Re:Sun's Lsat Chance (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946489)

Their designs are ugly and clunky on a desktop computer

It's called retro or "old school". Personally, I like the way they look: the exact opposite of the ultra-slick yuppie Apples. Sun boxes *look* like they mean business, even if some of them are purple.

Huh? Sparc laptops been around 4 awhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946264)

I even had a veritas cluster class a while back taught on them.

Not even going to bother reading TFA...

better idea (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946266)

why doesn't sun just add support for common x86 laptop chipsets to OpenSolaris.....oh wait, they want us to do it for them. for free.

Re:better idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946508)

Firstly, remember that OO.org is actually mainly maintained by Sun developers before you make a statement like that. Secondly remember that open-sourcing Solaris, which represents thousands of man-hours of work in exchange for a few drivers is quite a fair deal.

SUN needs life support - STAT! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946269)

Seriously, it's pretty obvious to the most casual obvserver that SUN is dying (netcraft confirms it!). Let's take a look at the list of their recent thrashings:

1)Lowering the price on their machines by 40%. Clearly this is the death rattle. A company operating at a loss is a company which won't be operating for very long.

2)Sleeping with microsoft. When the lamb lies down with the lion, it's very rare for both to rise back up again. I know that when i watched mcnealy smile and joke with ballmer that I was convinced the end was at hand for sun: and given number one, I'd say I've been proven right.

3)Giving away their crown jewels. Sun recently has taken the very rash and very poorly exected jump onto the open source software bandwagon. Yet, if you look at the fsf web page, you can easily see that 'cuddle' (the sun license; god knows why the came up with yet another one) is as far from free software as you can get!

These mis-steps and sudden -dare I say desperate- changes in direction point to one, and only one thing: SUN's days are numbered. Time to cash in your stock and cut your losses.

text of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946270)

i managed to find the content on that site as many people wont be able to read it due to the number of adverts on that page (the whole site is just an advertising application, content seems to be very inconvienent)

----

Enterprise computer maker Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) Latest News about Sun Microsystems announced its first-ever laptop yesterday, saying the machine was designed to let engineers and scientists perform demanding computer tasks away from their desks.

Sun, which has seen sales fall for the last four years, said that it was also lowering prices for some of its computers by up to 40 percent.
Cheaper Prices

The Ultra 20 Workstation, a desktop computer equipped with an AMD (NYSE: AMD) Latest News about AMD Opteron processor, now will cost US$895, a cut from the previous price of $1,495.

The Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation will list at $3,400 and is equipped with Sun's Ultrasparc processor, the Solaris 10 operating system, 512 megabytes of memory, a 40 gigabyte hard drive and WiFi connectivity.

Also unveiled were several initiatives to drive customer adoption, including a "try and buy" program that lets customers take an Ultra 20 for a 90-day test drive at no charge.
Free Software

Sun is also loading its newest workstations with free software that it values at thousands of dollars, such as Java Latest News about Java Studio Enterprise 7 and Sun Java Studio Creator. The goal is to coax developers to create applications that run on Sun machines, the company said.

Sun is also giving away the source code for its application server Latest News about application server software, which helps corporate databases work together, to spur development of new programs, the company said.

---

The problem is ... (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946276)

"Enterprise computer maker Sun Microsystems announced its first-ever laptop yesterday..."

I heard it was just a Sun Blade 2500, but it now comes with this really big backpack.

Specifications (4, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946280)

One of:
UltraSPARC IIi (550 MHz or 650 MHz)
UltraSPARC IIIi (1.28 GHz)

Up to:
2 GB SDRAM

Either
80-GB IDE HD
73-GB UltraSCSI HD

802.11
Solaris 10
JDE

Re:Specifications (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946344)

UltraSPARC IIi (550 MHz or 650 MHz)

Isn't that a bit slow by today's standards????

Re:Specifications (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946588)

You'd think, but sparc is different. Just like PPC is different, and a 1.8ghz mac kicks butt, a 600mhz sparc can really fly.

First? What? No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946317)

Unless I dreamt the whole thing there have been Sparc notebooks for years. I think they used to be standard equipment in Military issue Humvees
(this was before they realized that money was better spent on stuff like armor).

Processor? (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946330)

Didnt mention the processor used. Perhaps a ultraSPARC?

That would give some of us soon to be ex apple fans somewhere to go, other then just a ix86.

So it was overpriced by 66% yesterday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946339)

They are cutting prices on some items by 40%.

If today's prices are fair market value, I guess yesterday you paid 2/3rds too much.

We're Cutting Prices On All Items... (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946343)

That's right! Sun's cutting prices up to 40%! Mad Dog McNealy is running throughout the store, lifting his leg to great deals! Look at this great workstation! Was 5 trillion dollars, now only 443 billion dollars! With prices like these, this sale won't last long! Get down here while there are stil LOW LOW prices!

Mad Dog McNealy says "Linux is Red Hat, Red Hat is evil, but Microsoft is A-okay!"

This sale is brought to you by Sun Computers, maker of Java, slower than Espresso, and guaranteed to run badly on any platform!

I'm salivating over their Ultra 20 workstation (1)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946345)

Looks better than Apple G5, and uses a _real_ processor (Opteron).

Sun Still sells computers? (1)

dynamo (6127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946367)

I'm amazed that sun would bother to create a non-server machine (even if they call it a 'server-laptop' or some other such nonsense).

Why buy sun hardware these days when better unix-based OSs and better price-performance are available everywhere else?

What about Voyager? not a laptop exactly, but... (2, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946368)

Sun's SPARCstation Voyager [milestonesolutions.com] (1994) may not have been a laptop exactly, but "transportable" and at 12lb dubbed a "nomadic" solution... Maybe something like the 15.8lb Mac Portable [lowendmac.com] (1989), a.k.a. the "Luggable".

sun laptops (1)

telemonster (605238) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946376)

Sun had a machine called a Voyager which was an official Sun portable IIRC.

RDI and Tadpole both made Sparc notebooks, as well as a few others. Milspec mostly.

IBM had a PPC RS/6000 notebook... It limited in version of AIX it will run though.

The SGI luggables in Twister were made by banned from the ranch or another group. They are fake, just Indy presenter displays. Given the sizes of the boxes, it would have been trivial to pack an Indy in a case that size. RDI or someone I believe offered portable SGI conversions but they would crush nuts, not sit on a lap (60 pounds?).

Don't forget the New Ultra 20 (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946378)

By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Published Monday 27th June 2005 14:42 GMT

Sun Microsystems has polished off its cheapest and likely most attractive Opteron-based workstation to date.

The hardware maker today introduced the world to the Ultra 20 a one-way (one socket) box that starts at $895. That price has to please a lot of Sun customers who complained when the much higher-end W2100z amd W1100z workstations arrived, costing thousands of dollars. With the Ultra 20, Sun is really delivering some of the price/performance benefits associated with x86 chips to the developer crowd.

Sun has long been a major player in the workstation market, pumping out Solaris on SPARC boxes for engineers, developers and designers. The rise, however, of Intel Xeon's processor ate into a huge chunk of Sun's workstation share. Sun's line of Opteron-based systems is its response to this loss, and the Ultra 20 is the first box in this line aimed square at developers.

Sun unveiled the system at its Java One conference which starts today in San Francisco.

"This system is meant to reach a much broader audience," said John Fowler, Sun's vice president in charge of the x86 systems. "Java One is the world's biggest developer conference, so it made sense to show it off there."

While you can buy the Ultra 20 flat out just like any another bit of hardware, Sun also has a much weirder pricing option. Customers can pay $30 per month over three years ($1,080) and get the system, Solaris 10, Java Studio Enterprise 7, Java Studio Creator and support. This package full of Java tools is meant for the developer crowd.

Initially, the Ultra 20 will ship with a single-core version - 1.8GHz to 2.6GHz - of AMD's Opteron. As El Reg reported last week, AMD will make a dual-core version of this 100 Series chip available in the third quarter. (AMD confirmed the move to customers in a note issued Friday.)

The Ultra 20 also ships with up to 4GB of memory, up to 2 SATA drives (80GB or 250GB), six USB 2.0 ports and two IEEE 1394a ports. The box will run Solaris x86, Red Hat and SuSE Linux 32-bit and 64-bit and Windows XP Pro 32-bit and 64-bit.

Sun continues to see a sharp rise in it Opteron system sales. The company is currently battling with HP for the top spot among all Opteron server sellers.

Sun has enjoyed particular success in Germany where it holds 41 per cent of the Opteron server market versus 23 per cent for HP, according to the first quarter figures from Gartner.

You can see the Ultra 20 in all its glory available here.

Along with the Ultra 20, Sun also pointed to the new Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation, which runs on its UltraSPARC chip and starts at $3,400. This system looks like a rebranded version of a Tadpole laptop. ®

http://www.sun.com/desktop/workstation/ultra20/rev [sun.com] iews.jsp
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/27/sun_ultra2 [theregister.co.uk] 0_opteron/

Re:Don't forget the New Ultra 20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946457)

Posting the same article twice! Eh, Sun Whore?

These are just rebranded Tadpole and Naturetech! (4, Informative)

mrbill (4993) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946409)

Sun is just reselling the Tadpole and Naturetech portables. I've got one of the Naturetech systems right now (for review on sunhelp.org) and <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/sets/489 821/">some pictures up</a>. It's *very* nice, but *very* pricey.

A little bit bored...but. (0, Offtopic)

citizenklaw (767566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946420)

In Soviet Russia, Sun laptops you! Seriously, I wonder why is this something of interest. Powerful notebooks nowadays can run the latest *nix apps with mighty aplomb. Just look at the (relatively) cheap behemots that Powernotebooks has on their web site. www.powernotebooks.com. Yeeesss. Those same notebooks you see from other vendors (you know who you are) are available cheaply from these guys. Heck, they even sell you their lappys with no OS! (Hence, no MS tax!) Just take a look at the NP9880. When you see a lap like this, dual CD bays, 17" wide screen, memory reader that can read even your finger, Full (with a numeric pad) keyboard, etc. It's enough to make you drool and take your corporate D(H)ell laptop, shove it out the nearest window and requisition this baby. Granted, it won't last on battery a good deal. But with a decent DC adapter you can probably hook it up to a plane's jack. For the most moderate minded, check out their line of 15" lappys. You can get a fully decked 15" rig for a few bucks less than those 'other' guys.

wow, you guys are living up to the slashdot crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946456)

This was annouced several days ago, it is on the sun website if you bother to look, and the picture there actually shows a tadpole as well as another vendor. Basically it looks like a decent laptop, harkening back a little to the old ultra5 or ultra1 design (the little edge at the bottom).

I think some of you should feel a little more free to use multiple OSes and like them all. I have an e450 with sol 10 on it and I like it, along with a linux box and some other really crappy thing from somebody named Bill ;)

They all have their place, although I have to say solaris 10 is a far more refined experience than any linux distribution I have used (and linux is my OS of choice).

I would be so bored without all of this wonderful variety of things to break...

Voyager Was the First (1)

allenw (33234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946466)

The first Sun laptop that I know of was the Voyager [sun.com] . It was a sun4m-class machine.

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12946473)

saying the machine was designed to let engineers and scientists perform demanding computer tasks away from their desks

Funny, this is the exact reason why so many of the UNIX-centric engineer/research people I know have in the last few years switched to Powerbooks.

Including a pretty decent number of people I know who work for Sun...

tadpole?! (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946480)

jeez does our editor overloads know anything about Sun, unix or hardware!?

Opteron lappie would be news. (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946501)

Sparc lappie...meh.

Make your time (1)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946513)

I hope this new trend toward AMD processors, Linux/OpenSolaris and cheaper prices works out for them. I've liked Sun hardware for years until the Sparc line fell so far behind the curve. I'd hate to see them go away, just for nostolgia's sake. This may be their last "chance to survive".

Remember when Apple's stock was at rock bottom, pre-Steve, and Sun made a lowball offer to buy them out (which they thankfully refused)?

It'd be really funny and ironic if Apple bought out Sun now. Yeah, sure it probably won't happen, but it'd be funny.

Yow! News Flash! Stop the Presses! (3, Funny)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946517)

Mountain View, CA - June 29, 2005 - Sun Microsystems announced today a radically new information storage and communications system using nanotechnology. Using tiny carbon-based fibers carefully prepared, purified and pressed into paper thin sheets, along with sleek, ergonomic pigment deposition units, Sun has introduced a tablet-based handwriting-centric system they believe will inundate the world.

Availlable in units of 75 sheets each, the beautiful yellow nanotech material is easy to hold in the user's hand or attached to a conventional clipboard. It requires no external power, relying exclusively on passive power derived from the user's physical manipulation of the material. The stylus is available in models that apply black, red, blue, or green pigment to the nanotech sheets. They also rely entirely on the user's physical manipulation for power, and only require periodic changing of toner cartridges that are small tubular components only a few millimeters in diameter. Sun has thus eliminated the cost and logistics required to distribute electrical power, UPS facilities, and expensive rechargeable batteries to users. Data storage is for all intents and purposes permanent, and is impervious to even multi-Tesla magnetic fields and large amounts of electromagnetic radiation across a wide spectrum. Styli that contain precisely machined lengths of purified graphite-based toner will soon be available and will add erasable read/write capability.

The nanosheets will be available in units of 10 pads of 75 sheets each for $2500 list price, and non-erasable styli are available in packages of 25 for $1295. The advanced machined graphite styli were not available at press time.

Laptops will go under $200. (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12946546)

Sun is in trouble.
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