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Sun Beefs Up Efforts To Steal HP Customers

Sun Microsystems on Monday beefed up its program to steal server customers from Hewlett-Packard.

Sun expanded its "HP Away" migration program to include its workstations and servers that run Sun's Solaris operating system on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s 64-bit Opteron chip. The company already includes servers based on Solaris and Sun's Sparc chip.

Sun is looking to take advantage of HP in the enterprise server and storage market. The company said last week that it missed Wall Street expectations in the third quarter, primarily due to a 5% drop in revenue, year to year, for enterprise servers and storage. CEO Carly Fiorina called the results "unacceptable" and fired three top executives.

Market researcher Gartner said in a research note that IBM is exerting pressure on HP in the server market, and Sun "threatens to recover market share." "HP's NonStop and Alpha systems operate in a market that has been declining as companies increasingly favor more open solutions," Gartner said.

Under the Sun program, companies moving from HP can buy Sun servers and won't have to make any payments or pay interest until 2005, company officials said. HP customers migrating to Sun's AMD Opteron servers running Solaris will get a 40% discount.

Sun says the program, which began last summer, has lured more than 150 HP customers.