Ian Young and Roanna Avison
A low-end version of the Sun server line, aimed at grabbing business from PC rivals, is being sold below the $1,000 (£714.28) barrier in the US for the first time, in contrast to the UK where it is being touted with a £1,200 price tag - equivalent to $1,800.
One UK reseller expressed outrage at the suggestion the channel was adding almost £500 to the product.
Another added: "I feel betrayed. This is not good for the profile of the channel."
But Simon Tindall, Sun's UK volume sales manager, argued the $1,000 price in the US was a promotional price for Web sales and as such was not comparable with the UK's £1,200.
"We don't sell on the Web in the UK, but the £1,200 price tag matches the US's channel price of $1,400," he said.
The model is a Unix-based entry-level Netra X1 server. The cheapest option previously available was priced at around £2,500 in the UK.
The release is a result of the collaboration with Cobalt Networks, purchased by Sun in December, which will add applications to its servers aimed at handling e-mail transactions, Web hosting and voice-over-IP gateways.
Sun's president and chief operating officer, Ed Zander, said its decision to chase the low-end PC server market came as more people were dissatisfied with NT's capabilities and it would be aiming to take market share from NT industry leaders such as Dell and Compaq.
Meanwhile, Sun reported a 44% increase in revenues to $5.1bn in the second quarter to 31 December. Profits rose 19% to $423m.
This was first published in January 2001