I met with HP last week at TechEd, and Allen Tiffany, the manger of HP’s thin client product team, showed off the company’s advances in thin client technology.
Tiffany first showed me a thin client that’s able to feed video to four monitors simultaneously. As a thin client, it’s probably not going to handle four simultaneous HD videos, but Tiffany said most customers with this kind of setup want one active screen, and the four others do less intense tasks, like PowerPoint. Tiffany said the quad-display thin client is powered by a quad-head ATI video card and an Atom CPU, and uses a fairly complex mix of which processing takes place on the client, and which on the server.
I wondered whether there’s really anyone who wants a thin client with four monitors, and Tiffany said they’re popular with financial traders and the federal government.
“There’s actually increasing demand for this,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany said think client growth overall has been dramatic, about 20 percent per year.
Tiffany also showed off HP's "zero client" boxes and servers intended to run Multipoint Server.
One server running on a Core i processor can run up to 10 machines. The system is aimed mostly at small businesses and education--and HP also showed off its Classroom Manager software, which provides things for educational environments, including heterogeneous environments, where a teacher might be on a desktop and kids on thin clients.