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Eiger, the software will allow businesses to run Windows applications on a bare-bones PC with the bulk of the business logic performed at the server.
According to Steve Bink at blog site Bink.nu, the client will need to only meet the barest of requirements by today's standards: a monitor supporting 800x600 graphics, a Pentium-class processor, 64MB of RAM, a 500MB hard drive and a network interface card .
Thin-client technology has indeed been around for a long time. The article correctly notes that the Eiger system is being designed for "mid-client" systems that still use a hard drive where a true thin-client has no hard drive.
Others aren't convinced of Eiger's role within the Microsoft product line, or why they're even developing the software in the first place.
Because MS is an active and aggressive proponent and extremely successful practitioner of the "first-to-file" patent approach, where it doesn't matter to them who actually invented the idea, if they can get to the patent office first, then they get to dictate licensing costs. This applies even if the underlying technology has been around for decades.
Perhaps this will help perpetually semi-blind IT Directors and Boards decide to move to the thin-client way of thinking due to the MS brand, as the article noted. It's just too bad that those Directors and Boards can't see beyond their contracts with MS. If they could, they would be rolling out high-performance, low-cost, extremely reliable Sun/Novell/Linux/Unix thin-client LANs right now.
Given the current state of "new" MS product releases, we should be seeing a functional Eiger rolling out in ... whatddyathink ... 2012?
To avoid the hardware upgrade (pc replacement) costs many of these organisations have been switching OS to Linux to gain functionality and improved security.
Whether the TCO of an OS less than XPpro but more than XPembed and requiring additional server resources and control programs will be seen as a viable Linux competitor for old systems has yet to be determined.
Shades of xpHome vs. XPpro: to support mobile devices, wireless networking, and VPN there is a second "improved" version ... and the thing(s) have yet to have a beta launch date confirmed.
I look forward to the battling of PR drones. Let the vitriol flow and the stats fly ...
<off topic rant>I wish all these software developers would keep beta in the lab and limited to a test community. Stop inflicting half assed, untested programs on the great unwashed.<end off topic rant>
older computers within govt and company networks running win95, win98, or NT4 that are too hardware limited to be upgraded to XP
That's a good point I hadn't thought of. I wonder how low Microsoft will price their thin client software. I suppose you'd have to have a lot of antiquated computers for this to be cost effective... MAYbe. I wonder how many Thin Clients a server could handle if all of the Thin Clients are running Outlook, IE, Word, Etc., and the processes have to take place on the server.
With wireless so prevalent these days, it would be nice to have a tablet Internet device that is relatively low cost, boots instantly with a long battery life, has an 800x600 screen (at least) and performs PDA functions, including syncing with a pc. If it has a hard drive that is fine too, because you need a lot of space for pictures, movies, and music.
These devices would compliment everyone's pc, not replace it, therefore the market is MUCH greater than just corporate systems. I think the reason these devices haven't succeeded before is because people tend to think of an "either/or" mindframe ("we only need one computer, so what should we get?"), but now, the idea of several computers in the home is not that big of a deal. I have a neighbor that has 4 computers and a PDA, and they are definitely NOT geeks.
Corporations would be well served to adopt this model and provide regular pcs in the office, and issue thin-client appliances instead of notebooks for travelers. Lower costs and especially security for data are just a few of the good reasons for this.