[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie! [ really sun vs dec/apollo ]

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Tue Sep 12 02:49:16 AEST 2017

Paul Winalski writes:
> SUN captured the workstation market from Apollo and DEC because they
> managed to sell workstations cheaper than their competitors.  I don't
> think that the OS being UNIX had very much to do with it.  But using
> UNIX probably lowered SUN's software development costs, and no doubt
> that contributed to their lower workstation cost.

While the choice of UNIX may have played a small part, Sun really nailed
it with the SparcStation I.  Sure, they sold it for less than whatever
the DEC equivalent was at the time, but that's because their manufacturing
cost was way less.  The SparcStation I pioneered a lot of new manufacturing
technology; it was the first snap-together system.  I remember looking at
a tear-down of the DEC and Sun offerings, and the Sun had less than 10% of
the parts of the equivalent DEC system.  Methinks that better engineering
won the day.


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