The HP t5550 Thin Client comes with Windows CE 6.0 and file viewers for Microsoft Office 2003 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) pre-installed, and, according to HP, "is ideal for client virtualization settings that need support for legacy ports, Citrix ICA, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), terminal emulation, Windows Media Player, Microsoft Office viewers, and basic Web browsing."
The HP t5570 Thin Client comes with Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (a version of Windows XP Professional Embedded), and includes a regular browser, the latest protocol support, write filter, firewall protection, and terminal emulation. According to HP, the t5570 is a good match for client virtualization environments.
We see a lot of SMBs deploying Thin Clients for IT reasons -- reducing VAR maintenance, and reducing 'desk walks' to diagnose or replace user's hardware. We see Thin Clients in many places, like replacing PCs in doctor offices for billing and patient checking, for knowledge workers in SMBs, and in warehouses for scanning and tracking inventory."
Because Thin Clients have no fan or other moving parts, and a very thin software stack, "They are highly reliable -- we see customers using them for five to seven years, and they are end-user replaceable," said Bodeman. "Because of improvements in the server-side software, and in server and storage hardware price/performance, the cost per seat is lower than using commercial desktop PCs. We look at a roughly 30% reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over the five to seven year lifetime of a Thin Client deployment, mostly by maintaining and managing software centrally, by not sending people out to desks to fix things, and by buying one Thin Client over that period of time versus 2 desktop PCs." Additionally, Bodeman notes, Thin Clients require less power and cooling than desktop PCs.
HP t5500 series Thin Clients will be available by next week. Pricing starts at $249, including the TC, keyboard, mouse, power supply, software to connect to Citrix, VMware, web-based TCs, etc. -- versus HP's previous mid-range Thin Clients, which began at $299.