Wyse to Broaden Product Line

Thin-client vendor targets software, services, hardware.

Wyse Technology Inc., which has made its name selling thin clients, is aiming to expand its business beyond its niche through new software, services and hardware, including wireless handheld devices that will operate much like a Tablet PC.

The San Jose, Calif., company supplies about 50 percent of all thin clients worldwide—both directly and via a reseller agreement with Hewlett-Packard Co. The new products and services will be unveiled at the Citrix iForum show in Orlando, Fla., this week.

Wyse in the first quarter will release a new application, code-named Samson, designed to help manage PCs, a platform the company had previously viewed as simply rival technology, officials said. Samson will enable IT managers to not only set up PCs as virtual thin clients but to also "lock down" those computers so users will be unable to store data on the PCs hard drives, ensuring business data will reside in central servers, rather than be spread across PC hard drives.

Wyse will continue to promote its traditional thin clients, including the new Winterm 9450XP, to be unveiled at Citrix iForum, which features embedded Windows XP. It will also expand into new form factors, such as a wireless handheld, code-named Zeus, which will launch in the first quarter. Zeus is a Microsoft Corp. Windows CE-based handheld that appears much like a Tablet PC but will work as a wireless thin client and therefore lack the hard drive found on upcoming Tablet PCs, Wyse officials said. Using 802.11b connectivity, Zeus will enable users to tap server-based applications remotely.

In addition, Wyse is forming a professional services business unit. Currently, Wyse offers services on a case-by-case basis to customers who request them.

Wyse in the second quarter of this year sold 177,000 thin-client units, as compared with its closest rival, Neoware Systems Inc., which sold 49,245 units that quarter, according to International Data Corp. HP sold 15,244 units, all built by Wyse. Neoware this year bought the thin-client hardware lines of NCD Inc. and IBM.