Linux desktop software maker Xandros and Rome-based NoMachine, which specializes in Linux terminal server remote access and management software, Thursday announced they are teaming up to build new Linux thin-client platforms.
A certified NoMachine NX Client will be included in the first German edition of Xandros Corp.s Desktop OS 3.1, which will debut Nov. 15 at the Frankfurt LinuxWorld Conference and Expo.
A Xandros/NX server bundle also is in joint development, which would enable users to access a wider variety of applications that run on Linux systems, the companies said in a joint news release.
Thin clients, which are display terminals without local storage connected to a central server, vary in capabilities. The "thinnest" ones act as keyboard/mouse/display terminals only, and all computing takes place remotely on the server.
The "thickest" ones, sometimes called diskless workstations, can do their own computing but must depend on the central server for program and data storage. The latter can also use the central server as a computing resource.
Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos said that enterprise thin-client desktop deployments are expected to double worldwide over the course of the next three years, information that matches what IT analytical firm IDC has reported in recent months.
IDC expects the thin client terminal market to ship 1 million units in 2005 (up 39 percent from 2004) and reach nearly $500 million in value in Europe alone by the end of 2006. According to Chris Ingle, group consultant, EMEA Systems Group, "Thin client is a viable solution for many business problems, including security, systems management concerns, and time to deployment. We see increased interest in this market and expect growth to continue."
"The thin-client market will become even more competitive in the foreseeable future, as its penetration rate is expected to gather momentum within key vertical segments, such as education, the public sector and government. Solution bundles and pricing will constitute a critical differentiating factor between competitive vendors," said Stefania Lorenz, research analyst for IDCs EMEA PC group.
In the U.S., where thin client adoption has lagged somewhat, the enterprise, government and education sectors are expected to be considering such systems more seriously in the coming months due to various cost, security and maintenance reasons, IDC said.
"Our engineers examined several thin-client alternatives and found that NoMachine NX provides a solid suite of open source and commercial tools that deliver lightning performance and make remote access as simple as browsing the Web," Typaldos said.
Xandros operating systems that include the NoMachine NX thin-client component are expected to be made available for the U.S. and English-speaking markets sometime next year, the company said.
NoMachines list of clients includes Google, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the U.S. Navy, Yale University, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California-Berkeley.
Xandros positions its Desktop OS 3.1 "Deutsche Version" as an alternative to Microsoft Windows. Features include:
- Drag-and-drop DVD burning
- Seamless file and print sharing on Windows networks
- Support both MS Office and new OpenDoc formats in OpenOffice.org 2.0
- Automatic alerts to software updates
- Access to a largest inventory of free Linux software
- Free Skype-to-Skype worldwide calling
- FireFox web browser
- Thunderbird e-mail client
- Latest wireless network card support including Intel Centrino, 802.11g speed with WPA configuration
- Xandros Click-N-Connect wireless network AP (Access Point) finder.
Xandros Anti-Virus, the Xandros Firewall Wizard, encrypted home folders, and secure access to virtual private networks eliminate many of the security issues associated with Windows, the company said.
NoMachine NX is a terminal server and remote-access software based on enterprise-class, open-source technologies utilizing the X-Window system.