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Thin clients a malware-free desktop option

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"It depends on how good the technology gets. When it comes to Citrix, application streaming could keep us from having to install applications on our Citrix servers. I could dedicate one server as an application streamer. This would make managing applications even easier," Barter says.

Margevicius says the hybrid approach of desktop and application streaming to PCs and thin clients holds promise. "I think eventually many organizations will choose a mixed, hybrid approach of thin clients, PCs and virtualized delivery of applications and entire desktops. It all will depend on what they need; transaction workers may do their entire work on thin clients, while others will have PCs because they'll require that flexibility for their jobs," he says.

Despite the promise of better security manageability in thin clients, Margevicius doesn't think the PC as we know it is dead. It'd be closer to extinction if Barter had his way, though.

Androscoggin is considering enabling nurses and other medical workers to share wireless thin tablet PCs at some locations. By leveraging the Hot Desktop functionality of Citrix's Password Manager, users will be able to share notebooks and workstations, and skip lengthy log-in/log-off procedures to access their specific applications.

"I think that as this progresses and the technology improves, more people will overcome their psychological hurdles to thin client architectures. They'll see it for what it is--a godsend for manageability

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and security," Barter says.

This was first published in March 2007

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