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April 12, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc was resolutely holding its monster launch for 5pm Chicago time, 11pm London time yesterday, but it had carefully leaked some of the details to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and FileNet Corp, Costa Mesa put up an announcement that its image access software under SunOS would be offered on some of the new machines it named. From all of that it can be gleaned that the hottest property is the SPARCstation 1, a 12.5 MIPS, 1.4MFLOPS workstation with a processor box about half the size of a personal computer, and built in digital audio sound, which diskless costs $9,000, UKP7,500 here with a 17 high resolution monitor and the Open Look user interface to SunOS Unix. With colour screen and a 208Mb disk it is $15,000. The box has a 3.5 floppy drive capable of reading most personal computer formats, and an MS-DOS emulator is another $500. The company is also adding new models of the 68030-based Sun-3 line a desk-top Sun-3/80 starting at $6,000 and deskside Sun-3/400. At the high end, the SPARCstation 330 features three dimensional graphics – and Sun is offering the new super-high-performance graphics boards – claimed to offer dedicated graphics supercomputer performance – as options on other of its machines. The Sparcstation 300 family, 16 MIPS, 2.6 MFLOPS is from $30,000 to $75,000, and there are SPARCserver 330, 370 and 390 versions of it. With the new machines Sun expects to sell more stations over the next 12 months than it has in its seven-year history, which has seen 150,000 out the door. Sun has decided against putting the things out retail, saying that it expects the machines to be bought in volume by users who want to network them.

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