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Sun, Wyse Team On Thin Clients

Sun plans to bundle its Secure Global Desktop Software on Wyse's Windows CE, Windows XPe, and Linux terminals.

Sun Microsystems and Wyse are joining forces to expand thin-client computing across multiple platforms.

As part of the partnership, Sun said it will bundle Sun Secure Global Desktop Software--obtained via its acquisition of Tarantella--on Wyse's S- and V-class Windows CE and Windows XPe terminals and Linux terminals to expand its presence in the thin-client market.

Plans call for Sun and Wyse to deliver end-to-end solutions that comprise thin clients, software infrastructure, servers and services. Sun said the Sun Fire X2100, X4100 and X4200 servers powered with Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processors will be available through Sun and Wyse joint channel partners. The companies also said they will pair on joint engineering projects, customer engagement, partner programs and co-marketing initiatives.

Sun announced its plan to acquire Citrix competitor Tarantella last May. Thin-client software allows Windows, Linux and Solaris application bits to be deployed to a terminal and centrally managed on a server. Sun said it’s not dumping its homegrown Sun Ray terminals and Sun Ray server software but rather is extending its growing portfolio of desktop assets to Windows and Linux thin clients.

"Wyse terminals are going to connect to Sun infrastructure--that is, the Sun Secure Global Desktop Software--that will be available this quarter. It's a pretty big change for Sun because [we’ve] traditionally been selling Sun Rays but did the Tarantella deal to be able to be a broader infrastructure client to a broad number of desktops," said Greg Wolff, director of desktop systems marketing at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun. "It's the first steps we're taking in that direction."

Over time, Sun expects to deliver enterprise thin clients, mobile thin clients and vertical client devices, Wolff added.

San Jose, Calif.-based Wyse is advancing its thin-client technology as customers explore a variety of models for delivering their applications to the desktop more securely and easily.

For example, Wyse is developing Streaming Manager technology for a stateless thin-client device that would allow customers to push their "fat" Windows XP desktop applications to users locally while still managing the bits centrally on a server. The technology is expected to be available in January, according to Wyse. A stateless terminal lacks memory, disk and storage, and bits are stored on the network.

"We're getting rid of Flash and making it stateless and, at the same time, we’re expanding the user experience," said Allie Fenn, vice president of business development at Wyse. The Streaming Manager technology pulls over only the aspects of the application and operating system needed for the task, she added. "What we are doing is around the notion of thin computing as opposed to pure thin clients."

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