Some of Sun's key growth areas let it down during the quarter. Besides the drop in x86 shipments, billings from Sun's CMT (Chip Multithreading) Niagara servers, which had been selling well, increased by only 3 percent, the company said.
Total software billings increased by 28 percent from a year earlier, and its open storage products had a strong quarter. But Sun's core Sparc Server business was down, and total server shipments were off by 26 percent, Sun said.
"There were few product categories that had any success this past quarter," said Gartner analyst George Weiss. He attributed the poor results to the economy, the uncertainty caused by the acquisition, and competitors taking advantage of the uncertainty to target Sun customers.
"There will be a lot on Oracle's agenda to at least try to reverse the direction in some of these product categories," Weiss said.
Customers may not have a clear picture of how Oracle plans to integrate Sun's products, and which it will sell off, until six months to a year after the acquisition closes, Weiss noted.
He thinks Oracle will use Sun's hardware to build high-performance database and data-warehousing appliances that "bypass the generic server part of the market," he said. It's unclear yet whether it will do that with x86-type processors or the newer Niagara CMT chips.
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