The network computer will open up a new market for thin clients according to Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, who announced last week that his version of the network access machine will ship by the end of the year. But he said it will cost more than $500, putting it in the PC price range.
Speaking at the launch of the firm's range of Ultrasparc servers, McNealy said he expects the Zero Administration Client to be sold through the company's existing dealers as the thin client in a new version of client server implementations. 'Most users want a $1,500 screen, and you can't have that for $500,' he said.
In a tirade against PCs, which McNealy described as personal mainframes, he said he would justify the price of Sun's network computer through lower cost of ownership.
Laurie Menear, marketing manager at Sun reseller Morse, said there was a potential market for Sun's client offering, but pricing was still an unresolved issue. Menear was more upbeat about the Ultrasparc servers.
'These are the products we've been waiting for. Sun fell behind, but these are aimed at our core business,' he said.
Sun's servers range from a uniprocessor model to a 30-processor configuration, which the company claims is aimed at the mainframe market.
Last week Sun reported revenues of $1.84 billion for its third quarter, compared with $1.5 billion for the same period last year. Profits were up 33 per cent to $143 million. For the nine months the company's revenues rose to $5.07 billion, up 19 per cent. Profits were up 55 per cent to $354 million. McNealy said networks were the growth area in the IT, where Sun would continue its focus.'
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