Larry O’Brien, writing about the possibility of a mobile phone being the consumers only client, had this to say:
Having used Sun’s SunRay thin clients back in the dot-com days, I can attest to the user-friendliness of “plug and play” computing – put your smart card into any computer in the company and get your desktop. Very, very nice experience. However, I think the idea of a dumbed-down appliance-based OS has been tried and failed – WebTV springs to mind, Audrey, all of those things.
He continues relating his experience with SunRay clients at a recent tradeshow, and concludes "Thin clients suck".
At VON last week there were SunRay stations for attendees to log into and check email, etc, everywhere. Screens painted slowly, with frequent tears. The Sun browser was substandard, with obvious paints / repaints as CSS pages were rendered. The included VoIP phone had a primitive UI, and voice quality was substandard.
I think Sun makes great servers, but their thin clients, and their thin client religion, sucks.