Red Herring: Cloudy forecast for Sun RaySep 16, 1999, 18:16 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lawrence Aragon, Tom Davey)
"This is Sun's second attempt to crack the network computing market. Its first, which was based on its Java programming language, flopped. Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows terminals (or 'Winterms'), on the other hand, have established a strong, albeit small, market."
"The key problem with the Java Station -- which Sun claims it still sells and supports -- is that it actually does some desktop-like processing. The Sun Ray, in contrast, keeps all the processing on the server, completely eliminating desktop administration costs..."
"Kimball Brown, chief PC analyst at the information technology research firm Dataquest, says Sun has put forth a 'pretty powerful concept if it can get broadly adopted such that the clients are available almost anywhere. But in its current implementation, it's little more than a 3270 replacement.' (The 3270 is a terminal that links to IBM mainframes.)
To make a real go of it, Sun needs to open its platform so that Sun Rays interoperate with thin-client servers, such as those from Cobalt or Whistle Communications (now owned by IBM), Mr. Brown says. These servers are low-cost systems that allow small businesses to provide their employees with Web access and email. 'If [Sun Ray] needs a Sun server to do this everywhere, it's just not going to go anywhere,' Mr. Brown says."