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Sun Shifts R&D Focus To Horizontal Computing

Sun Microsystems' R&D efforts over the next several years will emphasize emerging technologies for service architectures, Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos said during a Sun Labs’ open house event Friday.

Though Sun will still dedicate resources to maintaining products for traditional corporate computing, the thrust of the company's research efforts will be focused on developing scalable hardware and software for companies with business models akin to Salesforce.com, Amazon.com and Google.

"It's an amazingly difficult space to navigate," Papadopoulos said.

Papadopoulos, who spoke to the press and analysts Friday at a Sun Labs' open house, said Sun's R&D will "likely change" as a result of the company's restructuring plans, announced earlier this week, but declined to detail specifics. Sun’s annual R&D budget has historically been about $2 billion per year.

Sun, which has struggled over the past several years to remain profitable, said Wednesday it would cut as many as 5,000 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce, over the next six months.

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