But, that may be what happens to the PCs. As it turns out the Network Computer isn’t dead, it was just resting. It’s new form is the thin client and blades. The client would be an AMD Geode or similar processor, a small flash HDD (1GB or so) and onboard video. All data and programs would be stored on a blade PC in the server room. When Oracle first tried this, it failed horribly, but the article at AnandTech lays out some good reasons as to why it might work this time.
“When we entered the 21st century, it became clear that the thin PC is back. Server based computing (SBC), the prime example being Citrix Metaframe Presentation Servers, has become quite popular, and it has helped to reduce the costs of traditional desktop PC computing. What’s more, you definitely don’t need a full blown desktop client to connect to Citrix servers, so a thin client should be a more cost friendly alternative. When Microsoft Windows Server 2003 came out with a decent Terminal Server, SBC became even more popular for light office work. However the good old PC hung on. First, as interfaces and websites became more graphically intensive, the extra power found in typical PCs made thin clients feel slow. Second, the easily upgradeable PC offered better specs for the same price as the inflexible thin client. Third and more importantly, many applications were not – and still are not – compatible with SBC.
That all could change in 2007, and this time the attempt on the PC’s life is much more serious. In fact, the murder is planned by nobody less than the “parents” of the PC. Father IBM is involved, and so is mother Compaq (now part of HP). Yes, two of the most important companies in the history of the PC are ready to slowly kill the 25 year old. Will these super heavyweights finally offer a more cost friendly alternative to the desktop PC? Let’s find out.”
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- PC Building Guide FAQ: Part 1 @ Maximum PC
- Dell’s entry level Vista and Linux Desktops price comparison @ HCW
- Dell Pumps Up the Cooling @ ExtremeTech