Taiwanese PC manufacturer Acer used Cebit to announce its entry into the Windows based terminal market.
The company showed off a demo version of its new terminal design which will be based on connecting via Microsoft?s Windows NT Terminal Server Edition (TSE) and running the Windows CE operating system.
Acer makes many of the long established arguments for thin client computers. It said that because all applications, user data and settings are located on the server, this makes them easier to manage and protects them against faulty configurations or manipulation by users or unauthorised persons.
New programmes or updates are centrally installed on the server for all users and the company added that virtually no maintenance work has to be carried out on the actual devices as they can be directly integrated into the network with a pre-installed operating system and an integrated Ethernet card.
Not having a hard disk - 8Mbyte of flash Ram is used - also reduces susceptibility to mechanical damage. The terminal will have neither a floppy disk nor CD Rom drive and an integrated reading device for chip cards will also prevent unauthorised use.
The terminal will run on a processor with up to 63Mbyte memory, a VGA graphics chip with 2Mbyte of memory and a sound chip will be fitted directly on to the motherboard, as well as a 10/100Mbps Ethernet adapter.
There will also be a PCMCIA expansion slot for which a V.90 modem is planned in the future.
Acer was unable to give any exact dates for availability or detailed specifications of the finalised model, but the company expects to launch its first Windows Terminal products in the second half of this year.
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