Hewlett-Packard and Dell are lining up their wares to better support Citrix's desktop virtualization platforms, XenDesktop and XenServer.
First up, HP rolled out a HP 4320t Mobile Thin Client — essentially a laptop without much on-board computing. In addition, HP said its thin client line better supports multimedia. HP's Compaq Elite Business Desktop and HP EliteBook 8440p notebook will also be "Citrix Ready" and support the XenClient (statement).
Whether these devices are dubbed thin clients, virtualized desktops or blade client hardware there's still a bit of a stigma among users that have been around for a decade or more. Simply put, we've been told thin clients are in forever, but the revolution never quite gets here. IT departments love thin clients on the white board since they have more control, but it's still a tough sell.
HP has tweaked its architecture to better support things like Adobe's Flash, but as smartphones are increasingly getting powerful it's tough to pitch a hollowed out desktop or notebook to a worker.
On the Dell side of the equation, said it is supporting the Citrix XenClient technology. Dell said it's working with Citrix to validate its Latitude laptop and OptiPlex desktops. The general idea is that Dell is looking to extend desktop virtualization to more users.
Dell, which didn't mention thin clients, instead talked about flexible computing, remote desktop controls, application virtualization and other managed services. Dell prefers the term virtual client over the thin client. Dell did launch new additions to its Latitude E family of laptops. These laptops are the traditional types.
It's good that vendors are supporting more desktop and laptop virtualization schemes, but that doesn't necessarily mean thin clients will ever be in. Thoughts?
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of TechRepublic.