Sun plans new thin client, Niagara update

Sun Microsystems plans to debut a new line of its Sun Ray thin client terminals Wednesday and shed more light on its UltraSparc T1 "Niagara" processors and other multithreaded chip plans.

If previous ideas from Sun come true, the new Sun Ray models will be able to connect not just by 10-megabit-per-second Ethernet networking, but also via home broadband and 802.11 wireless networks.

Sun hasn't had much luck getting the world to scrap PCs in favor of thin clients, which Sun argues are easier to manage and more energy efficient. But the company has been working on new features and sales models in an effort to make the products one of its "iPod moments" emblematic of a company turnaround.

Sun has promised Sun Rays that come with Internet calling features using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). And Sun Chief Executive Scott McNealy has said the company is planning to sell Sun Rays through an annual subscription plan.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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