July 25, 2012, 5:25 AM — It's been just 60 days since Dell completed the acquisition of thin-client company Wyse, but the business unit is moving forward with plans to release new thin clients designed to work with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS.
The devices will be tuned to work with the touch-based Metro user-interface in Windows 8, and the new hardware will be shown at VMware's VMworld conference in San Francisco between August 26 and 30, said Jeff McNaught, chief strategy and marketing officer of the Wyse business unit at Dell, on Tuesday.
Microsoft's Windows 8 OS is due for release on tablets and PCs later this year. The OS has improved virtual desktop features and the touch interface that could make thin clients more interactive with a tablet-like usage model, McNaught said. One example would be kiosks, which could capture information better with touch.
McNaught declined to provide details on the type of thin clients Dell would launch, but said the hardware would provide more "finely tuned" experiences based on Windows 8.
Dell's Wyse unit offers a range of products including thin clients in the form of laptops, monitors and zero-client desktop boxes. Virtual desktops are served to the thin clients either via centralized or virtualized servers, and Wyse also provides desktop virtualization tools to enable remote desktops. For example, the company provides PocketCloud for tablets and smartphones based on Apple's iOS or Google's Android so the mobile devices can access files on Windows and Macintosh computers.
Wyse thin clients are based on x86 and ARM processors, and run on the proprietary ThinOS, Linux and embedded Windows OSes. Wyse also offers a software stack compatible with Microsoft, VMware and Citrix virtualized environments.
Desktop virtualization is taking a cloud-like approach, and the traditional concept of the PC being the hub isn't the case anymore, McNaught said. Dell and Wyse continue to work closely with VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, who are deploying sophisticated tools and are able to deliver an entire user experience to remote clients.
The user interface is better, and the cost of adding a user to a virtualized environment is less, which is making desktop virtualization attractive, McNaught said. Users also have more devices that can be virtual desktops.
"You need a different model to support this explosion of endpoint devices. It's us supporting, and the market is changing," McNaught said.