Sun Delivers Cornerstone of Software Strategy

New Solaris 7 Brand Unveiled

NEW YORK-October 27, 1998 - Emerging as a software powerhouse, Sun Microsystems, Inc. further distinguished itself by announcing its next-generation flagship software product line: the new Solaris™ 7 software environment for SPARC™ and Intel computers. Unlike competitors, Sun is delivering today the highly scalable and reliable, 64-bit environment based on Internet standards that companies like Microsoft are promising its customers in the future. Sun also announced that it is extending its Solaris 7 software with specific new features to address the needs of departmental and data center environments, as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The combination of today's announcement, along with Sun's Jini™ and Java™ software technologies and recent acquisitions of NetDynamics, Chorus, Redcape Policy Software and i-Planet, uniquely position Sun to deliver an architecture of the caliber necessary to meet the demands of its anywhere, anytime vision of computing.

Sun believes that, with Solaris 7, it continues to outdistance itself from those in the UNIX® operating system camp, and has established a huge lead by establishing what a network computing software environment should be. Combining attributes common in mainframe-class systems with ease-of-use found on PCs, Sun will now move Solaris both "up" into the data center and "deeper" into departments, gaining new market share at the expense of the MVS mainframe, UNIX® and Microsoft Windows NT operating environments.

"Sun has invested more than 10 years in creating a software platform optimized for the network age," said Ed Zander, Sun's chief operating officer. "The world is accelerating its transformation into a digital society, where everything from your cell phone and pager to your cable box and credit card will connect to the network. The software platform on which this is built must be as dependable and reliable as the telephone network. Solaris is that platform."

New Solaris 7 Product Line

Highlights of the Solaris 7 product line include: (1) an enormous increase in capacity which removes limitations in handling extremely large data sets and complex computation, and opens the door for a new class of applications; (2) mainframe-class reliability features to minimize planned and unplanned downtime; (3) complete PC interoperability, so that customers can connect and manage their Windows NT environments with Solaris; and, (4) new PC-style ease-of-administration features for dramatically simplified installation and administration.

With its 64-bit capability, Solaris 7 software provides enormous capacity and performance. In relative terms, a 64-bit environment has a maximum capacity that is 4 billion times larger than its 32-bit predecessors. As a result, 64-bit applications can experience up to a 10x performance gain. And, because Solaris 7 maintains binary-compatibility, it will run the more than 12,000 applications already available.

While extremely robust and comprehensive, the Solaris software environment is architected for reliability and thus employs a design philosophy that embodies simplicity. "Solaris was built to solve the most complex network computing problems, yet because it was so well-architected, we've been able to keep its size relatively small. Fewer parts means fewer things to break," said Richard Green, vice president of Solaris products. "Solaris has approximately 12 million lines of code. Contrast that with Windows NT 5.0 for example, which is estimated at approximately 40 million lines of code."

The new advances in scalability, reliability and capacity make the Solaris 7 software environment an ideal solution for both desktop and server applications. Traditional markets such as mechanical and electronic design, financial analysis, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and data warehousing benefit from the increased power, capacity and scalability.

Further, those very same attributes are critical for businesses providing network services (applications, web access, mail, websites, etc.) to users either in their company and/or on the Internet. That makes Solaris software the best choice for ISPs today, and places Solaris at the center of the rapidly growing trend of ISPs' expansion into web based "enterprise" and "application" service providers - where businesses will go to outsource data center services previously performed internally in their company.

Sun also revealed an aggressive road map for the future versions of Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 that will accelerate the technology gap between Solaris and other operating systems. With each new release, Sun will redefine the state-of-the-art and incorporate more and more technologies, e.g., advanced clustering and Java technologies, into the base operating system - elevating customers' expectations of what an operating system should deliver. (See accompanying release on new Solaris 7 Environment.)

Related Sun Announcements

Other Sun related announcements made today include (see accompanying releases):

Software Strategy Enables Anytime, Anywhere Computing

Sun has been steadily building up its portfolio of technologies to create an open, scalable software architecture that will enable anything - from a $2 smartcard to a $2,000 PC server to a $2 million data center server - to connect into the network for anytime, anywhere computing. For example, Sun's Java and Jini technologies provide network access from any Internet-connected device. And the recent acquisition of NetDynamics gives Sun a middle-tier application layer that ties together disparate operating systems, databases, business applications, embedded devices, desktop computers, and mainframes. Finally, the foundation for this architecture is Solaris- the only operating environment architected for the network and robust enough to serve as the network "backbone."

Sun's Worldwide Announcement

Today's announcement was made here at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York City, and simultaneously broadcast via satellite to an international audience of press, analysts and key customers. A live Webcast will also be available at 10:00 a.m. EST by accessing:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer™," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW), to its position as a leading provider of high quality hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $10 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, the Sun logo, Sun Microsystems, Solaris, JDK, Jini, Java and The Network is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.

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