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March 27, 1996

HEWLETT CHASES SUN WITH SERVER TRADE-IN PROGRAM

By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co is adding a fourth competing hardware trade-in program, this time going for the big Unix one and offering Sun Microsystems Inc customers discounts of up to 20% when they turn in their servers for any HP 9000 model, including the Web Servers. The Sunburst program will run through to the end of Hewlett-Packard’s financial year in October, when the discount terms will be re-examined. Hewlett-Packard is also tossing in five days of HP-UX 10.0 system administrator training per server, a claimed $2,250 value. It has got other conversion guides and HP-UX-Sun interoperability cookbooks in hand. Hewlett-Packard says it has chosen to move against Sun now because its user base is doubly vulnerable: the remaining swathe of SunOS users will be Sunburst’s low-hanging fruit whilst SparcServer 1000 and SparcCenter 2000 users looking at box-swaps to UltraSparc are its main focus. It also reckons Sun has taken its eye off core business with its Java-Internet focus. It might be observed that the same reasoning could equally apply to Hewlett-Packard. Its users are facing multiple Unix and chip-changes, what with HP-UX kernel-level threads, the 64-bit 3DA Summit Hewlett-Packard-Santa Cruz Unix, 64-bit PA-8000 and Merced, although the company claims all of its D-, K- and T-Call servers are already PA-8000-ready. It reckons Sunburst could bring it an incremental 5% of revenue. It also says that the Internet newsletter of the same name, which periodically describes Sun products and technologies can only benefit from the publicity. Hewlett-Packard is using Aberdeen Group numbers to claim a 49% ($7,000m) share of the $14,000m 1995 worldwide commercial Unix on RISC market, ahead of IBM Corp with 19%, Sun 9%, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG 6%, Data General Corp 4%, Digital Equipment Corp 3%, Fujitsu-ICL Ltd and Tandem Computers Inc 2% and others 4%. Hewlett-Packard’s other trade-in program is the mainframe alternative, which has been running for five years; the three-year-old DEC Attack campaign to win VAX users and the more recent AS/400 Assault venture, now claim to have turned 3,000 AS/400 users to HP 9000s. Hewlett- Packard says 16 of the top 20 AS/400 independent software vendors now have their applications under HP-UX.

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