Wednesday

Wednesday 18/09/2002Sun's going into the low-end PC market, selling its 'purple boxes' in lots of 100 as devices to plumb into big servers. For around $300,000 you get a hundred 'purple boxes' with system software and other bits, suitable to run for five years.

Wednesday 18/09/2002
Sun's going into the low-end PC market, selling its 'purple boxes' in lots of 100 as devices to plumb into big servers. For around $300,000 you get a hundred 'purple boxes' with system software and other bits, suitable to run for five years. The same cost for PCs, says Sun would be closer to a million bucks. But then there's the cost of the back-end systems. It may make sense. It would make more sense if the PCs were closer to a Webpad, a basically portable device that clips into a stand at work, plops into a briefcase and then clips into a similar stand at home. With broadband, there'd be no practical difference between the environment at work or home -- saving oodles in support costs -- and we'd be back in the world of terminals and mainframes before you could say IBM. Add the hardware security features, like smart card readers, and the whole thing looks a lot easier for IT to look after than the current mishmash of PCs on the desktop and laptops wandering hither and thither. If Sun concentrates on security, ease of use and low cost, it'll have a strong story to use against Microsoft. If it can actually demonstrate all of the above, and have a decent pathway for existing Windows users to move across without losing too much hair, it may well start to sell decent numbers of an alternative to Redmond. Be nice if someone did.