A Windows(tm) version
By user9157252 on Sep 14, 2004
So this idea of a Windows client for Sun Ray -- a native one, not simply an embedded RDP client -- comes up over and over again. I guess it is because there is that small matter of Windows having a 90+% lock on the desktop market. Or maybe it's because it's what people are used to, or it's the OS that most games are developed for, or ... well, it's a Windows world, we just live in it I guess.
But this idea of a native Windows Sun Ray is not new. It has been around almost as long as Sun Ray has been around. The trouble is that Windows itself does not really support, nor was it designed for, the kind of session mobility that Sun Ray provides. Sure, you can connect to a remote Windows session via RDP. You can even use VNC. But the disconnection and reconnection, the integration with Smart Card Authentication, is just not there. I have my theories on why this is so -- most of them stem from the basic premise that Windows was never designed to be a network aware Operating Environment. It was designed to be a stand-alone desktop OS. Since that time, networking has been bolted on, but the idea of connected, collaborative, distributed use of the OS and its associated applications was and is an afterthought.
Unix, on the other hand, was designed and conceived of as a connected OS. Porting Sun Ray to Linux was much easier than porting Sun Ray to Windows could ever be. If it could even be done. But that does not mean it is not something we're not very interested in looking to implement. A universal client, one that could run \*NIX, Windows and Mac applications seamlessly and simultaneously is a holy grail, but one that I think should be achievable.