Sun and AOL seem to be the favourites in the media in terms of suggestion on what’s wrong with them and what they need to do to fix their problems. This time, its the NYTimes on Sun:
Cost-cutting is the order of the day for corporate customers. And servers based on low-cost technology from the personal computer world – Intel-compatible microprocessors – are eating into Sun’s business.
Sun’s quandary is that its business appears to be alarmingly dependent on high-cost, proprietary hardware at a time when technology trends and customers seem to be headed in the other direction – toward inexpensive, PC-based hardware that is more like an industrial commodity, the computer equivalent of a piston ring.
Linux poses the more imminent threat to Sun because both Sun’s Solaris and Linux share the Unix heritage, easing the way for companies to move to Linux and the inexpensive hardware on which it runs.
Many industry experts say the trend toward commodity-like computer hardware is unstoppable. The profitability in computing, they say, will move to software and services, the direction I.B.M. has charted and Hewlett-Packard has begun following. Hardware, they add, will be a brutal business, with the main winner likely to be Dell Computer, a hyperefficient packager and distributor of technology.
Sun executives see their company as neither a hardware nor a software maker, but as a “systems” producer.
Sun’s strategy is the following, according to the article: