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November 25, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

SunPics, Sun Microsystems Inc’s new printing and imaging arm, is getting set to announce NewsPrint 2.0 this week, the strategic unit’s first major product some two years in development. The breakthrough software, SunPics’ contribution to what it calls Open Network Printing, is intended to allow any kind of printer or plotter anywhere on the network and run by any local operating system to do what it’s supposed to – print. All it needs is Solaris 1.0 running on one station on the net. It will also supply PostScript to lasers without the facility. The product will come bundled with Sun’s branded 12ppm Fuji Xerox lasers for $2,700 but SunPics also intends moving the software separately for a price it declined to quote at press time. The Xerox-made SparcPrinters replaced the pricey $6,500 Apple Laserwriters Sun was buying OEM a year ago. To move the product, SunPics will use its dedicated sales force, Sun’s newly reorganised SunExpress telemarketing operation, Sun itself, clone makers, distributors and OEM customers. The last such companies include mail order house Inmac, Unix software specialists Qualix, Intelligent Electronics, MicroAge and ComputerLand on the reseller fron and Unisys Corp, SAIC, Electronic Data Systems Corp, Prime Computer Inc and Cray Research Inc on the OEM side. SunPics’ approach moves intelligence from the printer, where it’s been moving lately, back to the server where it’s more versatile. SunPics reckons it’s one of the only companies with its arms around the complete technical implementation: the printers, network access, raster image processing, fonts and typemaker – the last based on Sun acquisition of Folio a few years ago. The company figures it’s going to make significant headway in Japan and China – for itself as well as Unix per se – because it can spit out Kanji fonts in a fraction of the time it usually takes. It can also store them on the workstation rather than on an external drive and this is something which Kanji because of its thousands of characters often requires.

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