Opinion: Why Sun needs to enter the PC market

Why Sun needs to enter the PC market? Let’s first examine several companies in the market today:Digital Equipment – Digital was mostly a server company. At one time it was the 2nd largest computer company in the world. DEC strayed away from the consumer market when it emerged and was eventually taken over by Compaq.

Silicon Graphics – SGI was first concentrated in the server and graphics market, only to stray away from that too. They never made a big
push into the consumer desktop market. SGI used to trade around $50 per share, now it’s trading at around 1.80 per share.

Hewlett-Packard – HP has been bullish in the server and consumer market and thus it’s the #2 server company in the world. The only confusion
that HP has presented is when they acquired Compaq. Now HP is having to deal with supporting multiple architectures (including HP’s own PA-RISC and DEC’s Alpha) and migrating off of them onto Intel/HP’s Itanium processor. Server shipments are now dropping at HP due to the lack of commitment to PA-RISC and Alpha Systems. HP has also not been agressively advertising their server models.

Compaq – Compaq had success in the server and desktop market, mainly after they acquired Digital. They were eventually bought out by Compaq. The bad part about Compaq is probably some of the quality of their desktops and/or senior management running the company at the end of it’s lifetime.

International Business Machines – IBM created the first personal computer. They have been bullish in every single computer market. They are and have been very successful. IBM is currently the #1 computer company in the world.

Sun Microsystems- Sun has always been just a server company but has recently made a push to become a major software player as Jonathon Schwartz became COO. Sun has made little or no effort to enter the consumer desktop market. The little effort they had failed due to horrible marketing.

Fujitsu – Fujitsu has had success in the server and consumer market. They have entered the consumer and server market and has even created a line up that successfully rivals Sun’s SPARC servers and x86 servers before sun emphasized on them.

Gateway – Gateway is making headway in the server market, usually only being a consumer desktop maker. The company is now turning itself around with a newer sever line up.

Dell – Dell has long been called a company that tends to observe the markets and copy off the successful competitors rather than doing it’s own research. They’re tactics have paid off while they now start to do research more. They have successfully come to compete with industry leaders including HP which has strong consumer computer systems market share. Dell always watches to see what is successful before they start competing.

Apple – Apple seems to be only successful under Steve Jobs’ leadership. They created the PDA market, only after deserting it. They are the most successful Mp3 player maker. And although their desktop market share is dropping (due to the concentration on other products and lack of marketing) they are making headway in the server market. Apple’s Xservers are gaining market share greatly since the introduction of the 64-bit G5 Server. Apple’s servers have usually been overshadowed by IBM’s 64-bit PowerPC Compatible servers that outperform Apple’s.

[Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Hewlett-Packard
[Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] International Business Machine
[Success] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Sun Microsystems
[Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Fujitsu
[Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] Gateway
[Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] Dell
[Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] Apple
[Failed] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Digital
[Failing] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Silicon Graphics
[Failed] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Compaq


As you can see above, what looks out of place? Sun Microsystems. They are lacking basic consumer computer electronics (printers, mp3 players, etc) and consumer desktops. Sun’s main rivals (which include IBM, HP, Dell) all have strong showing in the consumer computer market. In fact, when one purchases a server one is more likely to purchase one from a company that also makes their desktop.

Sun has recently made a push into the consumer desktop software market. Is this a sign that they may enter the consumer desktop market? It’s hard to tell since most desktop software makers have never been Sun’s main competitor’s in the hardware market. This may be a sign that sun may never enter the market and their long-term server selling abilities may be weekend by Sun’s ever increasing concentration on the software market.

It’s important to follow Dell this time Sun. It appears that Dell is now going to overtake Sun in server shipments and make Sun the fourth largest server maker, mainly fueled by low end Linux servers. Sun’s low end x86 server push may be dampened by Dell’s superiority in the desktop market.


Sun’s solutions to the growing needs of it’s company has always been to purchase other companies. They have been very successful at doing that. They have done this to roll out high volume products in a short period of time so that their stock prices do not suffer due to such growing demands. I suggest that sun should purchase a consumer desktop computer company that incorporate that into the Sun brand name.


Sun has lacked greatly in marketing, and as history has shown if a company does not aggressively market their products and services, all of them, then they fail. Sun needs to market the software, servers, and possibly a low-end desktop line up aggressively and effectively. Sun has copied off of AMD’s web marketing tactics which have been proven very successful to both companies but I believe it’s not enough. Sun’s main competitors market anyway possible such as television, websites, magazines, etc. Sun needs to spend even more money to advertise their products and services not just advertising web casts. Sun’s tactic of advertising company events like online launch events have proven to be very successful in getting their user base and others more involved in the company’s ongoing activities, making the company seem more personal and open.

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