Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Are thin clients the way of the future?

I think so.

The Windows XP-based thin clients will cost less than Windows XP Professional Edition, but offer the same management features and availability of a broad array of hardware drivers. The operating systems are being designed to run on low-end PCs that could be used for simple tasks such as data entry and as a way to access server-based applications, these people said.

Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) is developing the two releases under the "Eiger," and "Mönch" codenames, after two mountains in the Swiss Alps, said Microsoft enthusiast Steven Bink, who publishes the Bink.nu Microsoft news Web site and runs IT Solutions BV, an IT consultancy company in Amsterdam.

Microsoft told select partners about its thin client plans in January, said Brian Madden, a Washington, D.C.-based independent technology analyst and author of several books on thin-client computing.

"The motivation for Microsoft is to get a true managed Windows platform on as many desktops as they can. Once they realized that this thin-client model is here to stay, they figured they might as well make an offering that can support SMS, WSUS, et cetera, to encourage as many people as possible to use these products," Madden said in an interview via e-mail.

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