Hewlett-Packard is growing out its thin-client portfolio with a new low-cost mobile appliance and hardware and software enhancements aimed at improving virtualization capabilities, security and energy efficiency.
The moves, announced May 27, are part of HP's efforts to offer thin-client technologies that address the various demands of users.
"We've got to deliver a robust PC experience [on the thin clients] and be able to deliver a range of experiences," Tad Bodeman, director of marketing for HP's thin-client solutions, said in an interview.
HP, which in the first quarter overtook Dell as the world's top PC vendor, is expanding its desktop reach to thin clients, PC blades and VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) environments.
"We're continuing to invest here, continuing to expand our footprint," Bodeman said.
In the latest expansion, HP is launching the new 4410t mobile thin client, which as a server-based computing appliance offers greater security and manageability, key concerns for such regulated industries as education, financial services, health care and government, Bodeman said.
The thin client comes with Microsoft's latest embedded operating system, Windows Embedded Standard with Remote Desktop Protocol 6.1, which lets users take advantage of the latest security and manageability features from Windows Server 2008.
The 4410t also offers users the choice of File Based Write Filter or Enhanced Write Filter, with both being integrated into the system. Both offer enhanced security, with the File Based Write Filter also featuring greater IT administrator capabilities.
Manageability features include such tools as Device Manager, Client Automation and ThinState, plus the Altiris Deployment Solution.
It also offers such features as a 14-inch widescreen LED display that is mercury-free, extending HP's green IT message; a full-sized keyboard; a fast battery recharge; and a weight of 4.3 pounds.
"The client side [of a server-based computing offering] is crucial," Bodeman said. "Despite all the back-end work, you could lose [the sale] with the wrong front end."
The 4410t also is 90 percent recyclable.
In addition to the new mobile thin client, HP also is enhancing current offerings. For example, the Linux-based t5545 and Windows CE-based t5540 now can more easily integrate with VMware's View and Citrix's XenDesktop technologies. The t5545 also offers a number of different modes, and the t5540 is now more easily configured as a VMware View client or XenDesktop appliance, thanks to HP's new Easy Update and Easy Config tools.
HP officials also said that five thin-client appliances-t5145, t5540, t5545, t5630 and t5630w-meet the new federal 5.0 Energy Star specifications.