Thin clients have become a hot item againwith the advent of cloud computing. So should we welcome this development as end-users? First we got used to applications and documents being hosted 'somewhere' on a server, and now they want to fob you off with a quirky thin contraption. Surely it can't deliver the same performance levels as your trusted hulk of a PC?
Dear user, let me put your mind at ease: today's thin client software is far-removed from the thin client software of say, five years ago. Let me outline the evolution. First there was server-based computing. This worked just fine, as long as you didn't deluge the server with too many colleagues at once, as this would slow your applications to a crawl.
But fortunately technology keeps on evolving. Desktop virtualisation hit the scene and worked performance wonders. With the advent of the cloud we are taking things one step further: from our virtual desktops we log on via the web to an externally-hosted server, and we have faster and easier access to our applications and data more convenientlythan ever, from any work location or device.
Today's hardware and software is aligned seamlessly with this development. They can handle any application with the same ease as a 'modern' desktop PC. Neither do multimedia and full-screen video present any problems. So if your organisation decides to migrate to hardware and software across the board, you don't have to worry about these things.
After all, don't you think it's madness to use heavy-duty desktop PCs for doing little more than just logging in to a server where all the work is done? What's the point of all that individual processing, memory and storage capacity? And what about security? It costs tons of money, and I'm not just talking about hardware and software expenditure.
The thing is that hardware and software are not just cheaper than desktop PCs in terms of acquisition costs, but also from a systems management perspective. Management is fully centralised, something that any IT administrator will warmly welcome. An additional advantage is that hardware consumes considerably less power: nice for your organisation's wallet as well as for the environment.
And if you're still not entirely convinced that thin client hardware are hot and happening, ask yourself this question: would Google introduce the Chromebook as a stripped-down alternative to unwieldy laptops merely on a whim?Or if you think the term 'thin client' is not exciting enough, why not call it a cloud PC? Because that's what a hardware and software actually is. Admit it - it does have a sexy ring to it, doesn't it?