Wyse Extends Thin-Client Reach

Unwraps Winterm 3820TX tablet thin client, launches Expedian server optimization software.

Wyse technology inc. is taking its thin-client technology mobile.

The San Jose, Calif., company, which is the largest vendor of thin clients, last week unveiled the Winterm 3820TX, a tablet thin client that combines the mobility of a Tablet PC with greater security and lower cost.

Wyse also launched Expedian, server optimization software that officials said will help Microsoft Corp. Terminal Servers run applications 30 to 40 percent faster. This means more users can be added to the server, or, in this era of server consolidation, fewer servers are needed for a job.

The products are part of Wyses push to expand beyond the desktop thin-client niche. Later this year, Wyse is expected to roll out software that will enable PCs to work more like thin clients, including having the ability to be "locked down" to prohibit users from storing data on the PCs hard drives. The company is also planning to create a professional services group.

Wyse sells about half of all the thin clients sold, both directly and through a reseller agreement with Hewlett-Packard Co.

The Windows-powered Winterm 3820TX tablet thin client operates in much the same way as Tablet PCs do, Wyse officials said. However, rather than storing the data on the device, the information is stored on a central server. It also integrates with Rapport, Wyses management software that enables users to diagnose, configure and maintain the systems remotely.

Wyses Expedian software is designed to ease management and increase application performance on Windows 2000 and Windows NT terminal servers. It looks at 32-bit applications and how the server handles requests coming into it, officials said. It then allocates the proper resources to the requests, which results in faster performance, they said. Pricing for Expedian starts at $999.

The thin-client tablet comes with a 12.1-inch touch-screen, handwriting recognition capabilities, the Windows CE 3.0 operating system and 32MB of internal memory. It is priced starting at $1,499. There is also an optional 8-hour battery. The 3820TX features 802.11b connectivity technology.

Bob ODonnell, an analyst with International Data Corp., said Wyses tablet thin client has benefits in several vertical markets. For example, it will enable doctors and nurses to use it while dealing with patients, but it protects sensitive patient information by keeping the data stored on a server, said ODonnell.

However, "I dont think its a wide-[use] sort of thing," said ODonnell, in Mountain View, Calif.

Like traditional thin clients, the 3820TX has its advantages, but many enterprises are already invested in their current architecture, said ODonnell. A business that wants to move into a thin-client format will have to spend a lot of money upfront to make the change, he said.

However, IDC does see a place for thin clients. It said it expects the demand for the devices to grow 27 percent between now and 2006, with sales jumping from 1.5 million units this year to more than 3 million in four years.