12 April 2002 Server and software company Sun Microsystems has demonstrated improvements to its Sun Ray thin client products, despite limited adoption of thin client devices since their introduction in the mid-1990s.
At an event to show off technology emerging from the company’s research and development organisation, called Sun Labs, Sun managers showed-off improvements to Sun Ray thin client products that enable the devices to work over slower network connections.
At present, Sun Rays require a network that can transfer data at a minimum rate of 100 megabits per second. In future, they will be able to work over digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband networks as well, say Sun researchers.
Sun has been touting the thin client device since 1995, in the hope that such stripped-down machines, which leave computational heavy-lifting to a centralised server, would eventually supplant fully fledged PCs and break Microsoft’s hegemony over the desktop operating system.
However, according to market research company IDC worldwide shipments of thin client devices amounted to some 1.3 million in 2001. By contrast, just under 130 million PCs were shipped over the year.