"If the executives of Sun Microsystems Inc. ever have
nightmares, they probably dream about people like Mark Lucas.
Lucas is chief operating officer at ImageLinks Inc., a company
in Melbourne, Fla., that does sophisticated processing of space
satellite imagery for military and commercial clients. It is
ferociously demanding work, requiring massive amounts of computing
power. And for years, Lucas relied mostly on high-end Unix computer
systems from Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics Inc. 'We were
spending quite a bit of money in just maintaining these very
high-end workstations,' said Lucas.
...He paid $25,000 a month for his Sun and Silicon Graphics
workstations. Today, he does the same work on Linux boxes that cost
him a one-time payment of $30,000. Now imagine thousands of Sun
customers making the same decision, and it's easy to see why guys
like Lucas have Sun's executives losing sleep."