According to a report by market analysts at IDC, worldwide sales of thin clients are showing a 90% increase but Western Europe is seeing much greater growth at 268%.
Of the 175 US businesses polled over their use or planned use of thin client technology, 75% of respondents said that thin clients are an acceptable alternative for some PC users. More than half of these say they have already replaced their PCs with thin clients. Reliability was the main reason behind their choice, followed by ease of use and performance.
Thin client systems are often less flexible than PC systems but tend to be far easier to support because of their server-centric architecture. According to Bruce Stephen, vice-president of IDC's personal systems research, they allow easier access to Windows applications, are cost-effective, easy to install and secure.
Smaller companies see thin clients as a way to improve IT management and reduce desktop complexity, medium-sized firms cited centralised control and ease of management, whereas large organisations were buying them to reduce total cost of ownership.
The report indicates that different-sized enterprises specified different reasons for their purchase.