back to article Sun ditches 'try and buy' program

Sun Microsystems is ending its "try and buy" programme that allowed customers to sample a range of hardware kit for 60-day trials with tech support thrown in for free. The company - which is currently facing a multi-billion dollar takeover from rival database giant, Oracle - didn't explain why it was dropping the radical offer …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Unsuccessful? Far from it!

    This program was far from unsuccessful. As a Sun reseller we used this program constantly as a way for our customers to evaluate servers and storage, 90% of which turned in to purchases rather than getting returned.

    Most of the time it actually worked out cheaper to buy a server through T&B than it did through normal discount applications.

    I think this is more to do with the Oracle acquisition rather than poor take up.

    Our customers loved this program, it's a shame it is being pulled.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Moving to Oracle's

      buy before you can try model - no doubt

  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: Unsuccessful? Far from it!

    "....I think this is more to do with the Oracle acquisition rather than poor take up...." Actually, it's more likely just revenue tweaking. If I understand the model correctly, each time a try-before-you-buy server goes out (from any vendor, not just Sun) it goes down on the balance sheet as a "sale" from the factory to the country in question's salesforce, which have to pay internal funny-money until they get the actual payment through from the customer. That's probably why Sun sales managers hate try-before-you-buy deals as it hits them in the pocket. They suffer a two-month dent in their revenue with each one. Ditching the service will probably allow the beancounters to declare a short-term jump in revenue, but the long-term effects will be even less customer confidence. Try-before-you-buy is a great confidence builder, it takes some of the worry off the customer that he's getting shafted with no recourse. Soreacle will need such offers, especially with wary developers, if they're to push Niagara more into the mainstream.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Horrible for Sun.... "Partners" abused it

    Some partners used it as a free deferred payment option with Sun picking up the tab, then customers would threaten to pack up the box unless they got another 10 points. While it was successful in finally getting customers to try the T boxes which required code rewrites it became abused and too costly. When you are losing well over $100M per month you cannot afford to fund unlimited free loaners. The other problem is after the massive layoff in March no one was around to follow up on the loaners and the return rate jumped to over 50%.....only know what it will be after the next wave is complete.

    RIF'd in Crafton

  4. Raddimus Voracious

    Try and buy did work...

    Try and buy did work however, recently, Sun lost interest in selling anything to the little guy. When I say little guy I mean businesses with less than 10K users and a couple thousand desktops and under a hundred servers. I guess when one thinks about it isn't that really the outer edge of the dart board when there are yahoos and ebays out there? After all those classless slobs HP and Dell seem to have no problem sending out their drooling sales force and engineering teams to club out solutions with the slovenly sort. Why should Sun bother to stoop so low?

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