Chief executive Scott McNealy admitted that Sun had trailed rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard in the move to low-cost computing, but he reaffirmed his company's relationship with Oracle, saying Oracle's software will run on all Sun systems - Solaris x86, Solaris Sparc or Linux.
"We did not exactly jump on the 32-bit low-cost bandwagon early, but we're jumping on it big now."
"Maybe we got over-fired up over 64-bit and over-fired up over large scale server models. We are still really bullish about that, but everybody is really looking at low-cost ways to build their computing environments," McNealy said.
The Sun Fire V60x and V65x servers are priced starting at $2,450 (£1,500) and $2,650, respectively, and come with 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Xeon processors and a choice of Solaris x86 or Red Hat Linux.
The systems offer six PCI-X slots, support up to 12Gbytes of memory and are available now. Sun has also lowered the price of its existing LX50 system by almost 30%, to $1,995 (£1,222).
The relationship between Oracle and Sun appeared to cool last month when the Oracle and Dell announced plans to focus on low-cost Intel-based computing, which was widely seen as a threat to Sun's Unix server business.
By teaming with Red Hat, Sun is replacing its own Sun Linux, although McNealy promoted Solaris as superior to Linux, noted Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff.
"There was a Red Hat announcement, but Sun quite clearly positioned Solaris x86 as the preferred or premier operating system for Intel platforms," he said.
The global partnership with Red Hat calls for Sun to offer Red Hat on its x86 compatible systems and for the Linux supplier to include Sun's Java Virtual Machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
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BOSTON -- Some of the biggest criticisms of Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris project have come from IBM's vice president of worldwide Linux strategy, Scott Handy, who during an interview regarding the new IBM Chiphopper program said he did not expect OpenSolaris to generate the following that Linux had accumulated.
Citing the "passionate community" that had supported Linux throughout the years, Handy said the current ecosystem for operating systems was one of Windows and Linux – with no room for a third.
"I generally don't think that there is a following there," Handy said of OpenSolaris. "And if it cannot get beyond its core following then it won't work."
Sun fired back in an email response from a spokesperson that the project already has a "strong community of developers, customers and partners," all of whom can be seen on its community Web site www.OpenSolaris.org.
From the floor of the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, Robert Frances Group senior business analyst and open source practice leader Stacey Quandt addressed some of the criticisms of Sun Microsystems Inc. and the Open Solaris project that will see the Solaris 10 operating system opened up to the developer community.