From the "I can't believe it's not X-Windows":
"According to usability research firm Nielsen Norman Group, "Billions of dollars are wasted yearly in lost productivity as people wait for Web pages to perform duties that could be better handled by a 1984 Macintosh-style GUI application." Over time, Web pages -- JavaServer PagesTM technology and Active Server Pages -- have become the dominant user interface for Internet-based applications."
There's a fairly interesting world clock demo linked of the article's main page. Which links to The Mind Electric web site which I've seen before but can't remember the context exactly. It seems to have all of the features you could want in a distrubted GUI environment and low bandwidth usage. Although, I'm not sure where they get 26.6Kbps I'm sure my modem was 28.8.
Original article from Sun's web site:
"It will also help bridge the gap between conventional GUI toolkit developers and web based GUI developers by providing familiar APIs for GUI components, component state, and for rendering and input processing. Comprehensive support for internationalization and basic input validation will ensure that developers include these features in the first release of their applications."
Availalbe as JSR 127 (an impressive list of companies):
However, they are keeping themselves covered by support C++ and in the future .Net.