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Sun Set to Unveil a Sub-$1000 Unix Workstation
Associated Press
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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sun Microsystems Inc. will unveil Tuesday its first Unix workstation priced less than $1,000 as it tries to regain ground lost to competitors.

The Sun Blade 100 workstation is designed to compete against powerful Microsoft Windows-based PCs which have cut into the business computer market once mostly reserved for workstations running on Unix operating systems, Sun officials said.

Workstations are powerful computers typically used by engineers, financial analysts and graphic designers who need vast amounts of computing power.

Last month, Sun also announced a low-end server that sells for $995. Servers are the computers that manage Internet sites and corporate networks.

"We're taking on the PC market on its home turf with price and performance," said Fred Kohout, director of marketing for Sun's technical-market product group.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun holds more than a 60 percent share of the market for powerful, number-crunching Unix-based systems.

In the past few years, however, more and more businesses started to adopt powerful — and cheaper — Windows-based PCs to run complex applications.

The Sun Blade 100 workstation will sell for $995 without a monitor. It's more powerful and $1000 less than Sun's own comparable Ultra 5 workstation — its best-selling Unix machine.

The new machine is also five times cheaper than a comparable machine by Hewlett-Packard, which Sun said is its closest Windows-based competitor.

The new workstation also has twice the memory and is roughly half the price of Dell Computer Corp.'s 32-bit workstation, Kohout said.

With a PCi card for an extra $195, the Sun Blade 100 machine would be able to run applications on both Microsoft's Windows and Sun's Solaris operating system.

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