The launch of Windows 2000 could see the adoption of the thin-client model of computing.
The new Microsoft operating system will include Terminal Services, which will allow multi-user access to the server, together with a client-access licence. This is in contrast to the previous versions of Windows where users had to buy a different edition - Windows Terminal Server Edition.
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The move should give IT managers flexibility to deploy application in a server-centric or client-based fashion, depending on the needs of end-users. Server-based computing is believed to offer benefits of lower support costs, more rapid application deployment, and longer desktop life-cycles compared to traditional PC networks.
IBM is launching a range of thin-client Windows-based terminals that aim to take advantage of Windows Terminal Services, together with the Independent Computing Architecture from Citrix, which allows client access to server-centric applications including those running on Unix. Compaq and Hewlett-Packard also make Windows terminals. Dell is the only major PC maker without thin-client products.