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Windows Thin PC RTMs!


i-away

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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).


With the customer feedback through our CTP, we also had the opportunity to
work with a few customers to test WinTPC and put it through the paces. One was
Deluxe Corporation, a $1.4 billion financial services company with locations in
the United States, Canada and Ireland, who worked closely with us during product
development. Deluxe is known as a dynamic organization that combines innovation
with integrity and found that WinTPC was exactly what they were looking for.


We talked with Scott Valeri, Manager of Enterprise Desktop & Mobile
Architecture & Engineering at Deluxe who said, "WinTPC is a strategic tool
within our desktop deployment model and is the next natural step in our thin
client computing strategy, as we evaluate ways to providing a rich Windows
experience from both fixed and mobile thin PCs. WinTPC enables [us] to leverage
existing investments in PCs as well as new investments in Thin PCs equipped with
Atom CPUs. As Deluxe Corporation migrates additional users to virtual desktops,
WinTPC will be the primary operating system used to reach virtual desktops."


In addition to Deluxe Corporation, we also received feedback from other
customers. We have tried to answer a lot of your questions through the WinTPC site, but would like to touch upon a few
frequently asked questions that have come up over the course of the beta
program.


Q: Will WinTPC be supported by Forefront Endpoint Protection
(FEP)?


A: Another key piece of feedback we received from customers is the
need for Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) support for WinTPC. Today, I am
happy to announce that FEP support will be coming to WinTPC in Q3 CY2011, which
is in the same quarter as the GA for WinTPC. Customers will be able to extend
their investments with FEP to WinTPC, unifying their anti-malware strategy
across PCs and WinTPCs.


Q: Will customers be able to run applications on WinTPC?


A: WinTPC is designed to be a thin client device, and therefore only
applications that fall into the certain categories are enabled. These categories
include security, management, terminal emulation, Remote Desktop and similar
technologies, web browsers, media players, instant messaging clients, document
viewers, NET Framework and Java Virtual Machine. If customers want to locally
run productivity applications such as Microsoft Office, or any other application
that does not fall into the categories mentioned above, they would be better off
using a PC, as thin client computing may not be the best fit for their
scenarios.


Q: How can I extend my management to WinTPC?


A: Management is a critical component of any desktop virtualization
strategy and you should be able to leverage existing infrastructure wherever you
can to reduce complexity and we believe this holds true for the access device as
well. WinTPC can be managed using your existing System Center Configuration
Manager deployment, thereby ensuring that you are able to leverage existing
investments in technology, processes and expertise. Additionally, the new Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 helps simplify
management of devices where write filters are turned on.


Q: Will I be able to use Citrix Receiver with WinTPC?


A: As discussed in previous posts, Microsoft and Citrix work closely
together to bring you a complete desktop virtualization solution and WinTPC is
no different. We are happy to let you know that our partnership is here for you
once again and we’ve made sure the WinTPC and Citrix’s Receiver technology work
together, so if you’re accessing XenApp or Xendesktop via WinTPC you’ll have a
great experience!


We want to say thank you to everyone for the interest in WinTPC over the past
few months – we value the feedback and encourage you to continue giving us your
thoughts in the comment section below. For more information, check out the WinTPC site.


Also, if you didn’t enroll in the beta program but can’t wait until it
becomes generally available to try it out, no need to worry. You can still
register and download the beta software from http://connect.micrsoft.com until July 1.v

 

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Ps: Future Forecast : Thin Weather and Clouds...Stay Tuned!

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