Sun Microsystems carved out a new niche in its workstation line Tuesday when the vendor cut the price on one of its 64-bit units below £1,000 for the first time. Attempting to give users plenty of muscle at a low cost, the vendor released the Sun Blade 100 workstation at a price of £980 for orders placed within the UK. The new 64-bit workstation runs the Solaris 8 operating system and comes with a 500MHz UltraSPARC IIe processor, 128MB of RAM (random access memory) and a 15GB hard drive. Sun expects the units to appeal to digital content creators, software developers, people working financial services and other fields that require intensive computing because of their power and high-powered graphics functions. To compliment the Sun Blade 100 users will also be able to buy a discounted set of software applications, including Forte development tools and iPlanet e-commerce software. As part of the Net Effect Development Stack, Sun will toss in Forte High Performance Computing software, Forte for Java software, the iPlanet Application Server, iPlanet Web Server and other iPlanet software. Sun also made the Sun Blade 100 available with Electric Image's Universe 3D animation software. This setup specifically focuses on developers working in graphic intensive fields, although pricing has yet to be set. Sun has also upped the 3D ante: it has released Expert3D-Lite – a graphics card that costs £780. Based on 3DLabs Wildcat II chipset, it features 32MB frame buffer memory, 16MB texture memory, and can handle 4.1 million triangles per second. It supports resolutions of up to HDTV, and can be purchased with the Sun Blade 100. Sun Microsystems, in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at +1-650-960-1300 or at