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SUN Extends iFORCE[SM] Partner Community to Capture Small and Medium-Sized Business Market

CDW Becomes Sun’s First Volume Channel Provider, Offering Entry-level Sun Servers, Desktops and Appliances

Palo Alto, Calif.
August 21, 2001

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced a new category of partners within its iForce[sm] program, Volume Channel Providers (VCPs). VCPs will offer Sun’s low cost entry-level servers, desktops and appliances to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), marking its entry to the volume market. CDW Computer Centers, Inc. (Nasdaq:CDWC), a direct solutions provider of technology products and services, is Sun’s first VCP.

The VCP program marks Sun’s entrance into the volume server marketplace, currently populated with Wintel-based systems. Gary Grimes, vice president of partner management and sales operations for Sun Microsystems said, “Recent analyst studies show that Sun is outpacing its competitors in the high-end UNIX[R] space and winning in the mid-range server market. SPARC/Solaris technology with its inherent scalability and widely-recognized Sun reliability also clearly meets the needs of the small to medium-size business community.

“Volume business doesn’t have to mean PCs and microprocessors,” explained Grimes. “The time is right to work with CDW and other iForce partners to not only capture this market, but to redefine the volume business to focus on the smaller enterprise.”

As a VCP, CDW will focus on high-volume sales to the smaller enterprise, allowing Sun to reach economies of scale to support competitive pricing while maintaining high levels of support and service. In the next quarter, CDW anticipates launching sales of such products as the Sun Cobalt[tm] Server Appliances, Sun Netra[tm] and two-way workgroup servers, and Sun software products through its relationship-based sales force. Pricing for systems will begin at under $1,000.

“Volume channel providers offer a viable volume/value proposition for completing an SMB total back-office solution, such channels are the link to Sun’s target customer. Sun has recognized this and is taking a necessary step, that is, by getting the channel involved with their new solutions offerings,” said Anthony Penzarella, IDC.

“Our small- and medium-sized business customers are considering a wider range of choices for everything from their servers to their desktops,” said Doug Eckrote, senior vice president of purchasing for CDW. “With the trusted set of Sun’s entry-level systems, we will be able to offer our customers an even broader range of solutions to meet their technology needs.”

Sun’s iForce program encourages collaboration between Sun’s iForce partner community to help build highly scalable solutions with reduced risk and improved time-to-service.

The VCP initiative allows for additional partnering opportunities within Sun’s iForce community. Participants will be encouraged to work with VCPs to form alliances for enterprise-level opportunities that may be uncovered by the VCP, as well as installation support for VCP sales.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer™” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to the nth. With $18.3 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com.