Microsoft To Launch Windows XP Thin Clients - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

03:01 PM

Microsoft To Launch Windows XP Thin Clients

Microsoft is set to debut two Windows XP thin clients, one for low-end PCs for task-oriented workers, and another for mobile workers, according to sources.

Microsoft is set to debut two Windows XP thin clients, one for low-end PCs for task-oriented workers, and another for mobile workers, according to sources.

The vendor is developing the Windows XP-based thin clients, code-named Eiger and Monch, to make it easier for system builders and partners to deploy pre-packaged thin-client solutions instead of customizing software on their own or using ISVs, sources said.

Microsoft declined to comment on the upcoming thin clients. But sources said the thin clients are not low-end versions of Windows but rather alternative operating systems for customers that choose to use thin clients and a server-centric computing model rather than full PCs. Thin clients offer several benefits, including reduced management costs and enhanced security.

The Eiger thin client will address the low end that Linux is targeting while also enabling quick assembly of systems for single-function task workers such as retail workers, sources said.

The Monch client is aimed at systems for mobile workers that require form factors smaller than a Tablet PC but bigger than a PocketPC, sources said.

The thin-client packaging will benefit partners that want an out-of-the-box alternative to Windows XP Embedded or products from Wyse Technologies or Neoware Systems. Microsoft offers a basic Terminal Services client that delivers access to Windows Server 2003, but it offers little functionality.

"Many customers are looking to thin-client technology to lower the hardware costs required to run today's operating systems. In order for system builders to compete, we must be able to offer Microsoft's entire solution stack," said Steve Bohman, vice president at Columbus Micro Systems, Columbus, Ohio. "By developing these products, Microsoft has validated the concept, and channel members can sell Microsoft's solutions or those of a competitor," he said.

Microsoft partners in the server-centric computing space said the Redmond, Wash.-based company has offered thin clients in the past. These repackaged and updated Windows XP offerings will not hurt them but help them compete, the partners said.

Still, not all are convinced that Microsoft's partners won't be adversely impacted. Wyse's WinTerm line now supports Windows, Linux, Java and Unix.

Curt Schwebke, vice president and CTO of Wyse, said the San Jose, Calif.-based company partnered with Microsoft on the previous Windows CE-based offerings, and Microsoft's decision to package new thin clients to target specific workers, form factors and vertical segments will help Wyse sell hardware.

"It's the same technology but packaged for specific segments in which they're trying to become a viable technology," he said. "They validated the thin-client architecture in CE, and now they're doing it for Windows XP's new networking and multimedia components.

"HP and Wyse have their own loads so this will increase competition for them, but it will also further validate the market for this kind of solution," said Rob Enderle, an analyst at The Enderle Group. "They decided to do a better job of packaging the product for use rather than simply let the vendors build their own as had previously been the case."

One Microsoft service partner said he sees more demand for thin clients on systems built for mobile workers or remote workers than he sees for thin clients on low cost systems for single-function task workers.

"I haven't seen a lot of demand for thin-client solutions to maintain legacy systems," said Paul Freeman, president of Coast Solutions Group, Irvine, Calif. "More interest is around remote access, mobile workforce or remote management solutions utilizing thin client."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Augmented Analytics Drives Next Wave of AI, Machine Learning, BI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/19/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll