Microsoft: Windows Thin PC goes RTM

Windows Thin PC is RTM, the following anouncement was made on the Windows Team Blog

We’ve been sharing updates on Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) for some time now and are excited to announce that today WinTPC reached its RTM milestone and will become generally available for download on July 1, 2011.

As we’ve been talking about, customers told us that they want an easy way to repurpose their existing PCs as thin clients. WinTPC makes this a reality and plays a part in our broader desktop virtualization strategy , which is to deliver the flexibility to work from everywhere, improve compliance and business continuity, and simplify management so that IT professionals can deliver better service to employees.

With the above goal in mind we created WinTPC to help customers repurpose their PCs as thin clients, thereby driving down the cost of VDI. We used additional feedback gathered from customers in our Community Technology Preview (CTP) to add a few features in the RTM.

  • Keyboard Filter: WinTPC will have the capability to allow customers to lock certain key combinations, such as Ctrl +Alt + Delete, from being utilized and taking effect on a Windows Thin PC device, thereby providing customers with greater level of security and control over user interaction with their WinTPCs.
  • International IMEs (Input Method Editor) support: WinTPC will now include the option to support international keyboards.
  • Key Management Server (KMS)/Multiple Activation Key (MAK): WinTPC will now be able to activate against a customer’s existing KMS server or use MAK keys, which enables quick and easy activation mechanisms that customers already use for their Windows desktops today.

Ultimately, the goal with the final version of WinTPC is to enable customers to extend existing investments in hardware and software for their VDI environments, so that, where appropriate, thin client computing becomes a natural part of their overall desktop strategy. And there is demand in the industry for this capability, according to recent survey published by Gartner nearly 60% of respondents indicated that they are interested in reconfiguring existing PCs as thin clients when asked “Is your organization planning to use existing clients/PCs for HVD, or will they purchase new client hardware?” (Source: Gartner, Survey Analysis: 2010 Data Center Conference, x86 Virtualization and Hosted Virtual Desktops Driven by Business Agility, Not by Cost Savings. February 2011, Note: Number of respondents equals 182 – multiple responses allowed).

Why is this good news? Because you can take your old hardware and turn it into a thin client with minimal effort on administration effectively  postponing the renewal of your desktops. Which can save a lot of money.

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.

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