Users will find it difficult to plan their desktop strategies over the next few years because despite the hype surrounding network computing, vendors are still at the experimental stage and do not yet understand which is the best architecture.
However, by 2001 more than half of all packaged application vendors will have a network computing-only desktop architecture, so users will have to plan for this strategically rather than tactically, according to Erik Keller, Gartner Group analyst at the consultancy?s fifth annual Enterprise Systems conference in Chicago this week.
?Vendor strategy will change, and change dramatically over the next couple of years as they evaluate Windows terminals at one end of the spectrum and proxy systems that can dynamically reconfigure application logic at the other. Each is appropriate for different applications, but the problem is vendors are at the experimental stage and don?t understand which is the best architecture. They?re currently looking at one size fits all,? he said.
As a result, users should initially keep their choice of Web clients very simple and limit their use to applications that require only light transactional capabilities such as self-service human resources and status checking as these would need the least change.
Keller continued: ?I think network computers might tank, but not network computing. Java everywhere is also not going to happen because client/server becoming a legacy installed base is also not going to happen. But, a hybrid model is emerging where users will start mixing and matching, so the emphasis will be on middleware and server-oriented architectures. And this will mean pain for Windows-centric fat clients.?
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