Wyse Technology is rebranding thin clients as 'Cloud PCs' with the launch of a new line of systems that run Windows 7, but boot from a private cloud rather than a local hard drive.
Announced at Microsoft's TechEd in Berlin, Wyse Cloud PCs are specially designed diskless PCs that get their operating system, applications and data streamed from the datacentre, allowing for easier management by centralising the Windows images that users run.
The systems are very similar to some of Wyse's thin clients, which are based on PC processor chips, but the company coined the 'Cloud PC' tag for this model to differentiate them from the way thin client terminals are operated.
"We're using the term 'Cloud PC' because, when you stream the OS and applications over the network, they are running locally on the device. It is essentially a PC, but provisioned and managed from the cloud," explained David Angwin, director of marketing for Wyse in EMEA.
Significantly, the new Cloud PC models ship with a Windows 7 licence, which gives customers with Software Assurance agreements the right to stream Windows 7 over the network without the need to purchase additional Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licences, according to Wyse.
"You would have to buy a VDA for each user if you did this any other way," claimed Angwin.
The Cloud PCs are designed to work with Wyse Streaming Manager software, which serves up the operating system and applications on demand. However, they will also work with alternative products such as Citrix Provisioning Server, Angwin said.
Pricing for the Cloud PCs starts at £325 for the entry-level C00LE model based on a VIA 1GHz processor with 1GB memory, while the higher end R00L costs £394 with a 1.5GHz AMD Sempron processor and up to 2GB of memory.
These models are also more power efficient than standard PCs, consuming no more than 15W of electricity, Wyse said.
Wyse also demonstrated support for Microsoft's RemoteFX display technology in its thin clients. Coming in SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2, this will deliver full video, 3D graphics and the Windows Aero experience in a remote desktop session.
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