Sun shines in server sales

Sun Microsystems has beaten IBM and HP to post record server sales revenue for 2000, according to the latest figures from research company Dataquest.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  February 15, 2001

Dataquest reports that Sun Microsystems stole the lead in the server market in 2000, with sales just pulling ahead of IBM. According to Dataquest’s figures, Sun managed sales of $4.8 billion, up 45% from 1999, while IBM slipped 10% to $4.7 billion. Both Compaq and Dell experienced sales growth in 2000, up to $3.9 billion and $2.4 billion, while HP slipped 12% to $2.2 billion.

Sun’s success had several sources, said Dataquest analyst Jeffrey Hewitt. The launch of the low end Netra servers opened up a new market to Sun that had previously been cornered by Intel. At the high end, Sun’s focus on a single operating system had paid off, especially against rivals such as HP who had managed to confuse the consumer. “When you go to Sun, you know you are going to get a Sun platform,” he said, “as opposed to HP, where you might be running PA-RISC or you might be running Intel IA-64 or IA-32 or HP-UX.”

IBM was hit by shortages of ceramics used for chips for the AS/400, which caused a 6% drop in sales for that product line, and a slowdown for the S/390 as customers awaited it’s replacement, the new G7.
In terms of units shifted, Compaq was the clear winner, with 483,000 servers shipped in 2000 up 15% on 1999, although both Sun and IBM could also suffer from overly-complicated product ranges, according to Hewitt.

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