Thin clients are hardly the dominant form factor in the enterprise, but Dell is betting the arrival of Windows 10 will open the door to a lot more of them.

Michael Vizard

July 14, 2015

2 Min Read
Dell Puts Windows 10 on a Thin Client

Thin clients are hardly the dominant form factor in the enterprise, but Dell is betting the arrival of Windows 10 will open the door to a lot more of them.

The company unveiled a pair of thin clients running Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, which is an iteration of Windows 10 designed to be deployed on endpoints that require higher levels of security.

Dan O’Farrell, senior direct of product marketing for Cloud Client-Computing at Dell, noted that as many IT organizations move to embrace Windows 10, many of them also will decide to make the shift to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) managed either on-premise or via the cloud. That approach will provide those IT organizations with more flexibility and control over the environment without having to compromise performance or the user experience. In fact, to that end, the new Dell Wyse 7490-Z90Q10 and 5490-D90Q10 thin clients are based on quad-core AMD G-Series processors that support the full range of Windows 10 features.

In addition, each thin client provides support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) processors, BitLocker Drive Encryption, Secure Boot and Windows Defender software to enhance security. IT organizations also have the option of managing those devices using either Wyse Device Manager software (WDM) or the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) platform.

To make it simpler to manage those devices from the Microsoft Azure cloud, Dell today also released an update to Wyse vWorkspace desktop virtualization software that adds support for Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure platforms, as well as Windows 10-based virtual machines.

While there may not be a wholesale rush to embrace thin clients anytime soon, O’Farrell said the age of the cloud has increased the number of places IT organizations want to be able to place a secure endpoint that still gives users access to all the functionality of Windows 10. The challenge facing solution providers is working with their customers to determine what the right mix of thin clients and traditional PCs is for their organization. In fact, it’s probable that winning any deal just might involve educating customers on how to stretch their endpoint budget just that much farther by implementing thin clients in places where a traditional PC either isn’t required or is too difficult to manage.

After all, the debate over thin clients vs. traditional PCs these days isn’t so much about one or the other anymore, but rather what device makes the most sense where.

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About the Author(s)

Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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