Blog: The beginning of the end for Thin Clients?
News from global market intelligence firm, IDC reports sales of Thin Clients fell by 6.9% in 2015. http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41139816
This may lead you to think Thin Clients have had their day, and examine whether they should be part of your future desktop infrastructure plans.
But as a company who has worked in cloud and virtualisation for over 15 years, and have probably sold as many thin clients as any other UK firm, we feel there is more going on than first sight.
The trends we are seeing include:
– The Life Cycle of a Thin Client is very different to a PC
– Improved graphical capability with vGPU
– Windows 7 / Windows Server 2012 Migrations
– The rise of Chrome Books in education
And if you want to find out what Thin Client is right for you, download our “The Insider’s Guide to choosing the right Thin Client for you.”
The Life Cycle of a Thin Client is very different to a PC
The feedback we get time and time again from our customers is their Thin Client devices just run and run.
If you’re not implementing a fundamental change in how you deliver your apps, you will easily get 7 years from your Thin Client deployment. In fact we are working with one high street retailer who is only now looking to replace Thin Clients, after 15 years’ service!
This length of life cycle obviously has an impact on the sales cycle. And given there was a raft of major Thin Client projects in the public sector over the course of the last three years, there was bound to be a levelling off in the market.
The fact you can expect to receive many years’ trouble free service from your investment in Thin Clients, I’m sure you won’t see as a drawback.
Improved graphical capability with vGPU
Historically, one of the main reasons why Thin Clients were not deployed throughout an organisation was due to the poor user experience on highly graphical applications, such as CAD.
Whilst we have been involved with NVIDIA and their vGPU GRID technology since its launch over two years ago, we are now seeing vGPU starting to become mainstream.
We predict the move to more vGPU projects will see Thin Clients replace high end workstations. We are working with the engineering department of a University which are doing just this. They are replacing not just their end user devices, but also how they deliver their engineering applications to their staff and students. Moving from a local to a centralised VDI deployment is enabling them to work from practically anywhere, whilst enjoying far faster rendering times.
Windows 7 / Windows Server 2012 Migrations
Organisations are starting to look at Windows 7 migration, but there is a reticence to move to 8.1 or 10, whilst there are so many unknowns. This is again supressing the need for organisations to refresh their existing Thin Client devices.
The rise of Chrome Books in education
We are seeing an increasing adoption of Chrome Books in education, and this is at the expense of Apple and Windows Laptops in education. Where customers are looking for the ability to have flexible learning using their wireless network, these are proving to be extremely popular and a trend we can only see growing over the course of the next few years.
Another interesting development we are starting to see is the testing of the use of Raspberry Pi. With the release of Pi 3 which has built in Wireless and Bluetooth, we are sure the avid Raspberry Pi community will be getting the most from these features using the Citrix Receiver.