A few years ago I didn’t pay much attention to the thin clients. If a customer wanted them fine, you choose a model started a pilot, bought the thin client and you were done.  As we now see that Green Computing is no longer a hype and the interest in centralizing desktops is growing every day. All of a sudden the possibilities and choices in the thin client market are booming. I thought the time was right to inform myself more about the thin client.

Last week I attended the AVNET “Thin is In Event 2009” it was a well organized event with a quick presentation of the Wyse, Chip PC, Igel and Samsung products. Afterwards there was the opportunity to meet with all the vendors to speak about their products and to see some live action. The funny thing about Thin Clients is that they are becoming more and more fat clients!! If you want a flexible solution with all the features and a minimal risk of non functioning peripherals you are forced to use the WinXPe or the new Windows Embedded Standard.

The conclusion for this afternoon was. Thin clients are al the same and yet they are all different. What I mean is they all provide their share in making IT more green. They all provide tooling for management of the thin client firmware. They all make maintenance a lot easier, etc, etc and yet they all have a unique selling point. So if you are thinking about centralizing your desktop environment define your wishes, select two vendors and two models of each vendor a start your pilot.

To help you select the right vendor please consider these vendor specific unique selling points.

Vendor Unique Selling Points
Wyse
  • Very Thin OS (can also be started from USB device)
  • Broad portfolio with a lot extra software user experience enhancements.
  • Model with Teradici PCoIP support.
  • Possibility to stream OS to the Thin Client (like Citrix Desktop Provisioning Server)
  • RDP/VMware View client for Apple iPhone/iPod Touch
Wyse View client for Apple iPhone/iPod Touch
Chip PC
  • Very nice management tool which not manage the OS firmware but all the features inside. It even can make the Thin Client Linux OS part of your Active Directory.
  • Model like Plug-PC and Jack PC complete thin client that fits into a wall outlet!!
  • Custom Chip PC Thinx OS
ChipPCPlug Chip PC Plug-PC ChipPCJack

Chip-PC Jack PC

Igel
  • Very Thin OS (can also be started from USB device)
  • Universal Desktop
  • RES Wisdom integration
  • Partial and incremental firmware updates from other thin client in branch office scenario’s
  • Universal Desktop Converter (make your fat client act as an Igel Thin Client)
Igel Universal Desktop Converter
Samsung
  • The best designed thin client !!
  • Monitor and thin client are integrated.
  • Very few models but with Teradici PCoIP support.
Samsung Samsung design monitor with integrated thin client.