guess who won't be buying any more sparc servers?
Someone who is not interested in supporting Open Source processors?
SPARC is an organization that licenses processor designs (Scalable Processor ARChitecture), provides docs, and even licenses a keyboard interface design (this part is low cost). I'm not sure what they charge, it may be just a fee for making sure your processor conforms to the sparcv9 spec or similar and you can put the SPARC stamp on your box. I have not heard of them being unreasonable before. It's an independent body. Sun and Fujitsu/Siemens happen to be a couple of the companies that use the processor design (modified for thier use). Probably similar to ARM in this case, but I will freely admit I do not know many details about the subject. I do know that one can download the designs and source code for the OpenSPARC T1 and T2 series processors from http://www.opensparc.net./
I hear that someone has a design that runs an OpenSPARC on a FPGA (granted, single core, but still cool).
So if you care about having an "Open" CPU design in your system, then you'll be missing out by avoiding SPARC.
Alas I do not have many facts available to back this up. www.sparc.org has been blocked by firefox or my antivirus somehow...perhaps someone is attacking it out of badwill or they got owned independently.
BTW: I've run gentoo on 'sun4u' SPARC processors, and hear that the kernel has lots of support for the 'Open' T1/T2 line and hypervisor, etc.