The European market for thin client PC hardware is now taking off, with more than one million units shipped last year, up 42%.
Figures from analyst IDC show that Hewlett-Packard and Wyse were the top thin client hardware suppliers, with less than 1% market share separating the pair in the fourth quarter of 2005. In the quarter, HP had 25.6% of the market and Wyse 25.23%.
IDC is forecasting that growth will continue as customers look at the future of their desktop infrastructure. Thin client, or server-based computing, sees desktop applications hosted on a remote server, rather than individual desktops.
This can cut down on licensing costs and increase security, as applications are only available when needed. Users can also get a “mirror image” of their desktop on any computer at any location, increasing flexibility.
“We are entering a very interesting period for client computing,” said IDC analyst Chris Ingle. “Chief information officers will need to make decisions about if and when they should migrate to Windows Vista. If implemented correctly, thin clients can help achieve manageability and security goals,” he said.