SANTA CLARA - Sun Microsystems Inc., whose servers run corporate networks and Web sites, introduced a low-end machine to compete against the falling prices of machines based on chips and software made by Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
Sun's V480 server, which holds up to four processors, is a junior version of Sun's V880, a lower-cost system carrying up to eight processors that has sold well to cost-conscious businesses, spokeswoman Debbie Walery said. Shipping of the new machine begins today.
Analysts forecast that Sun's revenue will fall 32 percent in the year that ends this month as companies pare spending on the refrigerator-sized computers that track inventory, bill customers and carry out other corporate transactions. Increasingly powerful servers powered by Intel chips and Microsoft and Linux software are also encroaching on Sun, investors say.
A base version of the V480 containing two 900-megahertz UltraSparc III chips and 32 gigabytes of memory sells for about $2,300, Walery said. Dell Computer Corp.'s Web site advertises a server with the same amount of memory, two Intel Xeon 1.6-GHz chips and Microsoft's Advanced Server operating system for a little more than $2,500.
Shares of Sun, which have lost 48 percent of their value this year, gained 7 cents to $6.35 in regular trading yesterday. Microsoft's shares added 31 cents to $55.99, and Intel's shares lost 54 cents to $22.02.
Sun's UltraSparc III digests data in 64-bit chunks, compared with Intel's 32-bit Xeon processors. Sun is updating its V880's 750-MHz chip with an Ultra- Sparc III that runs at 900 MHz.