Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Mar 9 2011   2:37PM GMT

Windows Thin PC: True benefit or more of the same?



Posted by: MelanieYarbrough
Tags:
Tablets
virtualization
Windows 7
Windows Phone 7
Windows Tablets
Windows Thing Client

Has the solution to the “Windows 7: To VDI or not to VDI” dilemma finally arrived? Suddenly Microsoft’s July extension of VDI use rights as part of their Software Assurance licensing benefits comes into focus. With the release of Windows Thin PC, or WinTPC, Microsoft simplifies the debate for users already enrolled in the Software Assure Program.

Whereas other users have to pay an extra cost for Windows Virtual Desktop Access subscriptions to use thin-client devices, future users of WinTPC won’t have to buy a VDA license, as explained by Gavriella Schuster, General Manager for the Windows Commercial business, in the Windows Team blog:

WinTPC is a smaller footprint, locked down version of Windows 7, designed to allow customers to repurpose their existing PCs as thin clients. PCs with WinTPC will not require the VDA license that regular thin clients will need to access VDI desktops. WinTPC is expected to be available for download from the Microsoft Connect Site in Q1 2011.

This benefit approach is Microsoft’s way of helping companies maximize technology investments by lowering or eliminating the up-front costs of thin clients to be used for VDI as well as the cost of licensing. Another concern for Microsoft, as outlined by Karri Alexion-Tiernan in a blog post, is to address the shrinking budgets for new devices. Allowing customers to utilize existing PCs frees up some of that budget to be spent “towards devices that offer more functionality and flexibility, such as new Windows 7 PCs, tablets, or slates.” While there is much skepticism from the experts, WinTPC is nonetheless slated to be released this month. More announcements are to be made tomorrow, so we’ll update you on any news.

Is Microsoft going to be too late to the tablet party?

While the iPad infiltrated the consumer market before sneaking its way into the enterprise – to many people’s chagrin and still only with a sliver of enterprise users – perhaps Microsoft is taking the backwards approach: Enter the enterprise market with Windows-equipped tablets after the market is full-fledged and saturated. Hey, it worked with their mobile timeline, right?

What do you think of WinTPC? Not impressed by Microsoft’s unending attempts to lock users in? Let us know in the comments section or send me an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] also mentions Microsoft’s Software Assurance subscription, which now allows VDI use rights through the use of Windows Thin PC. The subscription also includes the Desktop Optimization Pack chock full of management features [...]
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] anything: From the street artist to the mom/freelance musician, the predominant message is that Windows 7 tablets are computers, simplified. Run your usual programs without having to deal with an app store or change the way you [...]
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