InfoWorld writes about Microsoft’s Eiger and Mnch:
Turns out Microsoft thinks there’s some future in this thin client, servercentric computing deal. And wouldn’t you know it? That’s something the utility computing world is looking at as well, but I got no hint about two European mountains that apparently represent upcoming versions of Windows XP aimed at following the thin-client computing model. There’s not much concrete to tell about the two peaks, other than that Microsoft is attempting to imbue them with features you’d expect from a thin client: Remote boot is an important one, as is full remote desktop management and shell control.
I think Eiger and Mnch, though burdened with tragically awkward code names, represent some immediate effort by Microsoft to address its real worry: a different back-end computing model. Redmond knows its bread and butter still sits on the desktop. Making that desktop as attractive and universal as possible is the only strategy Microsoft can adopt in response to new service paradigms.
Who knows? A Linux-run server farm married to a Windows-based desktop landscape may wind up being the norm.
News.com adds: “Code-named Eiger, the product is basically designed to turn older PCs into a thin client, which is a terminal that gets most of its information from a central server. Unlike traditional thin clients, though, a few programs can be run locally, including Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and antivirus software. Microsoft is pitching the software at customers who can’t or don’t want to buy new PCs, but are concerned that their older computers are not secure and hard to manage. In many cases, upgrading those machines to standard Windows XP just isn’t an attractive option, even if it is technically possible ”
Dudu Mimran adds:
First let’s assume that there is a race between Microsoft and Google on becoming the front-end for all or most common computer uses. Google on their end add more and more services and tools that are integrated into Google in a seamless manner while Microsoft on the other end upgrade their current set of tools to match evolving needs. The first scenario where this competition will be visible is when a specific type of customer will massively adopt Google via Linux or any platform of choice but not necessarily Microsoft.
Potential users of thin clients have the least intensive and versatile requirements from their computer and this segment of users has the potential to be the first place where Google can become the ubiquitous platform. This perspective may explain current rush by MS to launch a thin client.