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Sun Microsystems


Sun Microsystems, Inc.(1)


1982: Getting Started

Incorporated in February 1982, with four employees: Scott McNealy, Vinod Khosla, Bill Joy, and Andy Bechtolsheim. All four the original founders of SUN. The name SUN orinally is an acronym for the Stanford University Network

First workstation introduced. It includes TCP/IP, now known as the Internet protocol suite.


1983: First Big Break

Sun and Computervision sign a $40 million OEM agreement.

Operations begin in Europe.


1984: The Big Idea

NFSTM technology introduced and licensed free to the industry. It's destined to become the industry standard for network file sharing.

Khosla's performance as CEO led to his leaving Sun


1985: Shining Brighter

"While other companies are still shivering from the sudden cold snap, Sun Microsystems is shining brighter than ever."

- Computer Systems News

Sun opens Canadian operations.


1986: Extending the Enterprise

PC-NFSTM technology introduced. It brings the power of network computing to PC users, and opens a whole new market for Sun.

Sun has a wildly successful initial public stock offering.

Sun begins operations in Asia and Australia.


1987: Big Business

Sun and AT&T lay the groundwork for business computing in the next decade with an alliance to develop UNIX(R) System V Release 4.

Sun takes lead in workstation market.

Sun connects to Internet.


1988: Getting Bigger

Sun reaches $1 billion in revenue--the fastest rise ever for a computer company with a direct sales force.

"Words fail to describe how successful Sun has been. For a company to grow at that rate is just incredible."

- Robert Herwick, Hambrecht & Quist


1989: Welcome to the New World

SPARCstationTM 1 system introduced. Features are so tightly integrated it fits in a 3- by 16- by 16-inch enclosure--the first "pizza box."

sunsparc 1(2)


Sun's expanded alliances with Informix, Ingres, Oracle, and Sybase set the stage for our emergence as the number one database platform.

Sun opens research and development center in France.


1990: Making Power more Affordable

Sun follows up on the success of the SPARCstation 1 with four new models--including the first workstation for under $5,000.

Manufacturing plant opens in Scotland.


1991: Setting New Standards

Sun's market share in RISC--the world's fastest, most powerful computing architecture--hits 63 percent.

More than half a million systems shipped to date.


Sun unveils SolarisTM 2 operating environment, specially tuned for symetric multiprocessing.

Operations begin in Latin America.


1992: Making a Name for Ourselves

Leading the desktop performance race, Sun introduces the SPARCstation 10 system, the first multiprocessing desktop computer.

Sun's name appears on Standard & Poor's 500.

Sun ships more multiprocessing UNIX servers in a single year than any other vendor shipped in its history.


1993: One Million and Counting

In just over 10 years, Sun reaches an incredible milestone--one million systems shipped.

Sun makes its debut on the Fortune 500.

Years of leadership pay off: Sun, IBM, HP, and others unify UNIX system software.


1994: Enterprise Computing Comes of Age

Sun stages the Enterprise Computing Summit--a week-long multimedia event and conference showcasing our network computing expertise.

Sun's external home page, www.sun.com, goes online.

As the exclusive computer supplier for the 1994 World Cup, Sun enables hundreds of thousands of soccer fans to tap into the Internet for up-to-the-minute information.

Revolutionary computerized retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco uses structural analysis with 3-D animation on SunTM workstations and servers to dramatically reduce costs while improving public safety.


1995: The Java Technology Revolution Begins

Sun introduces the first universal software platform, designed from the ground up for the Internet and corporate intranets. Java technology enables developers to write applications once to run on any computer.

More than 100 Sun systems are used to render images for Disney's "Toy Story," the first all computer-generated feature film.

Sun and third-party associates reach another milestone--10,000 solutions on the SPARCTM/SolarisTM platform.

Sun offers downloadable try-and-buy software on the Internet.

SunSolve OnlineSM provides technical support via the Internet.

Sun receives ISO 9001 certification for quality in all major country service organizations, and ISO 9002 certification for all worldwide manufacturing operations.


1996: At Home in Cyberspace

To stage "24 Hours in Cyberspace," the largest online event in history, Against All Odds Productions turns to the one company with more Internet and intranet experience than any other: Sun.

Sun UltraTM workstation family introduced. Features the 64-bit UltraSPARCTM processor with on-chip multimedia, graphics, and imaging technologies.

Sun licenses Java technology to all major hardware and software companies.

Sun and the House of Blues deliver interactive entertainment to Olympic spectators in Atlanta and around the world via the Internet.


1997: Reaching New Heights

Using Java technology, NASA engineers develop an interactive application allowing anyone on the Internet to be a "virtual participant" in the space administration's groundbreaking mission to Mars.

Sun's new server family introduced. Includes the 64-processor Sun EnterpriseTM 10000 server with the processing power of four mainframes.

Sun becomes the first systems company ever to demonstrate the best TPC-C performance on all four leading database platforms.

Web-enhanced Solaris environment introduced. With more than 100 enhancements, this release substantially increases the software's Internet performance.

Sun StorEdge A5000 system introduced. It is the industry's only second-generation fibre-channel disk array.

Sun becomes the number one supplier of UNIX multiuser disk subsystems.


1998: Setting New Standards

Sun redefines storage for the network age with an Intelligent Storage NetworkTM architecture that delivers mainframe-class reliability, virtually unlimited expandability, and cross-platform information sharing.

Say hello to instant networking. Sun's latest breakthrough, JiniTM technology, enables all kinds of devices to connect to the network-- instantly. Just plug it in, and it works.

Solaris 7 operating environment raises the bar for network software. Advanced 64-bit technology delivers dramatic increases in performance, capacity, and scalability.

America Online acquires Netscape; Sun and AOL to accelerate the growth of e-commerce and develop next-generation Internet devices in a historic three-year alliance.

Next generation of Java technology introduced. Java 2 software delivers more speed, more flexibility, and a complete set of foundation classes.


1999: Positioned to Win

With offices in 150 countries, Sun is a $9 billion global leader in network computing.

Our highly responsive service division supports more than a million systems worldwide.

Our long-standing relationships with the industry's leading software providers and systems integration firms ensure a comprehensive portfolio of enterprise-wide solutions.

More than 900,000 programmers are developing innovative Java applications.

More than half the medium to large companies worldwide are using Java technology.

More than 75 authorized Java CenterSM facilities help companies around the world implement Java solutions.


The internet bubble or Dot Com buble bursts, many companies are experiencing great difficulties to keep afloat. Nothing dfferent for Sun



Sun reports losses again due to the demise of the dot com bubble.



Factors like the 12 concequetive quarterly losses, the drive to make Jave a world standard, and law suits against Microsoft went nowhere, were behind the announcement in April 2004 that Sun and Microsoft were calling a truce. Microsoft would pay Sun $2 billion to resolve lawsuits, and the two companies agreed to work toward making their technologies more compatible.(3)

Go Back Last Updated on 20 February, 2006 For suggestions  please mail the editors 

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