That’s bad news for me! Sun Ray will cease to exist soon.
In the early 2000s we (me and my former colleague Fabio) managed some successful projects with Sun Rays but then it became more and more complicated to support end users and we left.
I know, nowadays it is quite an unusable product. But It the ’90s and early 2000s it was a great piece of technology, ahead of its time. End users appreciated it for the security, ease of management and resiliency of the environment. It’s not a coincidence that first customers were banks and the army.
The concept of the ultra thin client and the server managing all the stuff was intriguing and the architecture was very well designed. As always Sun was right but too early and didn’t have the ability of properly monetizing its ideas.
It wasn’t the first try for Sun, do you remember the Java Station? A real piece of crap indeed, but the idea behind it was beautiful.
Sun did all possible mistakes on it: for example at the beginning it was compatible only with Solaris on the desktop, it was the era when Sun was trying to convince people to use Solaris instead of Windows even for desktop usage. 🙂
Then, as always happened with Sun, the product matured a little bit and became a more general purpose platform (probably a little bit too late). If you had the opportunity to work with Sun stuff in the past, I’m sure you already know what kind of no-compromise visionaries they were… before the explosion of the “new economy” bubble in 2002/3.
On the other side Oracle is a more pragmatic company (to say the least) and it knows that this product was surpassed years ago by VMware and Citrix. Oracle’s last efforts to maintain it tied to Oracle VM, definitely buried it for good. They got what they could from it and now it’s over.