For a long time, the “Thin Client” (the hardware box) was considered by SBC advocates to be the last PC you’d ever buy. At least for several years. Somehow this idea didn’t take off. Shawn Bass today has published an excellent piece (I’m only referencing part 1) about this: http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/shawnbass/archive/2012/02/06/thin-clients-why-they-haven-t-been-the-last-pc-i-ve-ever-bought-part-1-of-2.aspx
Contrary to industry mainstream, I have always considered the “Thin Client” to be a software solution, NOT a piece of hardware. By software I mean something you can install on an ordinary PC, and giving the user the impression to work on a Thin Client. Empowering users to have i.m.a.c. (Install, Moves, Adds, Changes) benefits, on their chosen commodity hardware, be it something existing today, or a new cheap PC you buy tomorrow is a real game changer.
Truth is, as founder and CEO of Stratodesk, this idea led to founding the company, which now runs well well worldwide with offices in two continents, profitable with a decent customer base. It is funny how we picked up the “future proof” thing some time ago, for almost the same reasons Shawn is mentioning.
Interesting is also, how another Shawn, namely Shawn Tooley has taken up the Stratodesk subject already 1 1/2 years ago: “This could be a major breakthrough with companies having various desktop and thin clients from numerous manufacturers” (http://www.shawntooley.com/ITBlog/2010/05/stratodesk.html)
Speaking in terms of hardware, most people have care packs and what happens if the hard drive breaks down? Nothing. They get a replacement next morning and since the system is only running our solution without local user data, no work has to be done, no data is lost.
From a pure technical perspective we can not solve any GUI/remote protocol issues, but still consider these points:
- the protocols have improved a lot from the early days (anyone remembering RDP at 8-bit colors?), and
- we lower the bar for using SBC or VDI because the software is inexpensive, independent, the user can go back to Windows any time without having hundreds of thousands sunk in hardware.
However, I have to say, there is some caution needed: If somebody offers you a repurposing software it might be just to lock you into this solution and later on buy your hardware. I say this because Stratodesk is about freedom of choice, being strictly hardware agnostic, and giving users a choice on which hardware they want to run their infrastructure, today and tomorrow and we don’t see it as a sales tool for HW boxes.
Founder & CEO of Stratodesk Corp.