Is There a Thin Client in Your Future?

Arthur Cole

People have been talking about the re-emergence of the thin client architecture for years. And each time, the kicker has always gone something like, "but this time, it seems to be real."


Well, this time it really does look real, except that no one's calling them thin clients anymore. They're virtual PCs.


Ask the folks over at Info-Tech, for example, and they'll tell you that server consolidation combined with beefier hardware requirements for Vista hosts make the idea of a virtual thin client network almost irresistible to the average IT manager.


Major vendors, such as Microsoft, are gearing up virtual desktop solutions this year. And who should know better the most effective way to deploy Vista in the enterprise?


And a host of minor platform providers, such as XenSource and OSIsoft, are laying the groundwork in expectation of thin clients, virtual or otherwise.


Most of the arguments in favor of thin clients rest on cost. It's certainly cheaper to deploy a host of dumb terminals than to restock the office with a bunch of high-powered PCs. But even though it's cheaper, we still have to wonder, is it better?

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