Thin-client vendors Neoware Systems Inc. and Wyse Technology Inc. continue to expand their software capabilities as they push to move beyond their hardware roots.
Neoware, of King of Prussia, Pa., earlier this month completed the acquisition of Pericom Software Inc. for $9.8 million. According to Neoware Chairman and CEO Michael Kantrowitz, his companys current software enables its thin-client terminals to access Windows- and Citrix Systems Inc.-based applications. With the acquisition of Pericom, from parent Pericom Holdings plc., those same terminals will now be able to access applications running on mainframes and midrange servers as well as AS/400, Unix and Linux systems. "[The deal] provides us with legacy access," Kantrowitz said.
Pericom supplies about 85 percent of the terminal emulation software to the thin-client space, and Neoware will continue to sell the products to other vendors, Kantrowitz said. He said that while the thin-client space is growing at 20 to 30 percent a year, it accounts for about 1 percent of all PCs sold worldwide. The Pericom acquisition, coupled with the ThinPC rollout in May, will enable Neoware to target enterprises that use PCs but may want to opt for the less costly thin-client architecture, he said.
For its part, Wyse, of San Jose, Calif., has rolled out the latest version of its Expedian server optimization software. Version 1.5, released in January, improves server performance by allocating the proper resources to address requests coming into the server. Version 2.0, announced earlier this month, improves application load time by running the necessary calculations as the applications are loading, removing that duty from the CPU, said company officials. It is also designed to improve performance in multithreaded applications, they said.
Management tools will be a key issue to enterprises eyeing thin-client architecture, particularly if that includes changing PCs into thin-client appliances, said Bob ODonnell, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Mountain View, Calif. "These companies know theyre going to have to offer a complete package" if theyre going to compete with Hewlett-Packard Co., which is making a push into the space, ODonnell said.