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SRO: Sun Takes Another Shot At The PC

Sep 08, 1999, 05:11 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Deborah Gage)

"Sun Microsystems Inc. will re-enter the sub-PC market this week with Sun Ray 1, an 'enterprise appliance' that is a complete redesign of Sun's beleaguered JavaStation.

Sun is positioning Sun Ray as a disposable appliance, like the telephone, that requires no software upgrades and no changes to existing applications. In fact, Sun Ray (formerly code-named Corona) runs no local software at all. It plugs into the network through a 10/100Mb Ethernet connection and has a smart card reader for users to identify themselves. Once identified, users can access their software desktops from anywhere on the network, even breaking off sessions and resuming them from another location."

"Sun distinguished engineer J. Duane Northcutt stresses that Sun Ray is neither an X terminal nor a Windows Based Terminal. The difference: Sun Ray has no local software and requires no desktop configuration or management. Northcutt says the closest competitor to Sun Ray is an IBM 3270 terminal--except that Sun Ray has multimedia and centralized display rendering capabilities."

"Sun plans to make its Hot Desk protocol--which handles initialization, datagram-based commands such as rendering and error handling, and connection-based commands such as authentication and USB peripherals--available for license so companies can offer their own Hot Desk appliances. Northcutt says Sun will also approach IBM about supporting HotDesk."

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