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Sun, Fujitsu To Co-Develop Systems

In what Sun Microsystems Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy called an "acceleration" of a 22-year partnership, Sun and Fujitsu revealed Tuesday that they have entered a joint development pact that will see the two vendors merge their Solaris and SPARC-based server product lines by mid-2006.

The new combined set of hardware, code-named Advanced Product Line (APL), will replace the Sun Fire line from Sun and the PrimePower line from Fujitsu, McNealy said in a teleconference Tuesday.

Additionally, during the transition period leading to the APL introduction, the two companies will jointly distribute each other's product lines, Sun said. Once APL is available, both companies and their channels will sell the new line of servers.

The deal is designed to give both Sun and Fujitsu a broader distribution channel for its server products, McNealy said. Sun has faced financial troubles since the bust and has been trying desperately to increase revenue through a strategy it calls "disruptive innovation," which has involved releasing a slew of new products and introducing subscription-based pricing models for software and services.

"This combination of R&D ... significantly increases the amount of R&D our sales reps will be taking to market and offering to our customers," McNealy said. "It significantly improves and drives the number of people on the street selling Sun Fire and PrimePower computers, doing services and support, by many, many tens of thousands of people around the world. This is a big step forward for the ISVs who are writing to the Solaris/SPARC binaries in the marketplace."

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