The Economist writes:
Sun’s resurgence appears to be based not only on the boring stuff of lay-offs and cost-cutting, but also on a vigorous plan to grow in an industry that is supposedly stagnant. The market for humdrum corporate servers supporting run-of-the-mill business applications is shrinking, in effect, since the price of the things is falling faster than the growth in volume being shipped. But, says Greg Papadopoulos, Sun’s technology chief, there is a parallel universe that is expanding quickly. It contains unusually demanding customers such as FedEx, which needs big computers to route trucks and aircraft efficiently; drug firms that need to model complex molecules; weather and climate forecasters; and fast-growing Web 2.0 start-ups that handle huge amounts of data, such as video and blogging sites.
Mr Papadopoulos, borrowing from astronomy, calls this expanding constellation of clients a red-shift market. As the universe expands, light from galaxies moving away from Earth appears shifted toward the longer (and hence redder) wavelengths of the spectrum. Light from stars and galaxies moving towards Earth, by contrast, would be blue-shifted. Sun’s strategy is to keep fighting rivals such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM and Dell for the traditional blue-shifted customers while also targeting the more interesting red-shifted customers.