Wyse Refreshes Thin Client Line

WyseTechnology Inc. is making its thin clients leaner and meaner to position thembetter against the growing value PC market.

Wyse (www.wyse.com) plans to position its devices againstlow-cost computers by emphasizing reliability and a lower total cost ofownership (TCO).

Wyse’s thinclients have no moving parts, run either Windows CE or Windows NT Embedded, andperform a role analogous to the dumb terminals of the mainframe era. The thinclients rely on Microsoft Terminal Services, which allows applications to runon a server and be accessed through a thin client or remote machine.

Theappliances are compatible with Windows NT 4, Terminal Server Edition, and thenative terminal services in Windows 2000. Wyse also includes IndependentComputing Architecture (ICA) for administrators aiming to use Citrix SystemsInc.’s (www.citrix.com) MetaFrame client/server environment. Wysecan also modify thin clients to run other terminal environments.

JeffMcNaught, vice president of customer product marketing at Wyse, suggests thatthe thin client’s reduction in TCO will pay for the unit in two months. Thereduction in cost results from lower unit cost, minimal support needs, andhigher reliability. Since the thin clients have no moving parts and a strippeddown operating system, they are less likely to fail than PCs.

Inaddition, thin clients are expected to have a five-year life span, contrastedwith the three years PCs are typically in production.

“They’redesigned to be really simple, really easy to use,” McNaught says. Because theyuse a standard Windows Internet Explorer GUI, users who are comfortable using aWindows desktop will feel at home using one of Wyse’s thin clients.

The Winterm 3230LE is Wyse’s new entry-level thin client. Itconsists of a box about the size of an Ethernet hub, and includes a networkjack and a monitor connection. All of the necessary components are inside ofthe small box. The 3230LE runs Windows CE and costs less than $500 per unit.

Wyseincorporates a thin client into a 17-inch monitor with its new Winterm 3730LE,creating an all-in-one smart terminal for end users. Like the 3230LE, it runsWindows CE. The entire unit is priced at $799.

McNaughtcalls the Winterm 8230LE a “solid-state PC.” Although it has no moving parts,it can run applications independently of a host server. He says thisfunctionality fits retail environments well: if a network is connection is cut,the unit can still function, then sync up when the network is restored. The8230LE is an updated version of the WinCat Wyse released in the spring. Theclient sells for $849 and runs NT Embedded.