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Microsoft Releases Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) 1.0

Microsoft has announced a new update on its Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) -- it has reached its RTM milestone and will become generally available for download on July 1, 2011 for customers who use Microsoft Software Assurance (SA).

WinTPC is a smaller footprint and locked down version of Windows 7.  Customers can install this Windows version on existing PCs to repurpose them as thin client devices which can be used to access VDI environments.  This capability should help drive down the cost of VDI.  Microsoft used additional feedback gathered from customers during their Community Technology Preview (CTP) to add a few more features into the RTM.

  • Keyboard Filter: WinTPC will have the capability to allow customers to lock certain key combinations, such as Ctrl +Alt + Delete, from being utilized and taking effect on a Windows Thin PC device, thereby providing customers with greater level of security and control over user interaction with their WinTPCs.
  • International IMEs (Input Method Editor) support: WinTPC will now include the option to support international keyboards.
  • Key Management Server (KMS)/Multiple Activation Key (MAK): WinTPC will now be able to activate against a customer’s existing KMS server or use MAK keys, which enables quick and easy activation mechanisms that customers already use for their Windows desktops today.

On the official Microsoft blog, they write: 

Ultimately, the goal with the final version of WinTPC is to enable customers to extend existing investments in hardware and software for their VDI environments, so that, where appropriate, thin client computing becomes a natural part of their overall desktop strategy. And there is demand in the industry for this capability, according to recent survey published by Gartner nearly 60% of respondents indicated that they are interested in reconfiguring existing PCs as thin clients when asked “Is your organization planning to use existing clients/PCs for HVD, or will they purchase new client hardware?” (Source: Gartner, Survey Analysis: 2010 Data Center Conference, x86 Virtualization and Hosted Virtual Desktops Driven by Business Agility, Not by Cost Savings. February 2011, Note: Number of respondents equals 182 - multiple responses allowed).

If you didn’t enroll in the beta program but can’t wait until it becomes generally available to try it out, you can still register and download the beta software from http://connect.micrsoft.com/ until July 1.

Published Wednesday, June 08, 2011 5:41 AM by David Marshall
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