Microsoft has released to manufacturing its Windows Thin PC client, and plans to make it available to Software Assurance customers starting July 1, company officials said on June 7.
Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) is the successor to Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (WinFLP). Whereas WinFLP was based on the Windows XP SP3 platform, WinTPC is based on the Windows 7 platform.
Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) allows users to repurpose older PCs as thin clients, something that a number of users seemingly want to do in order to save money and avoid having to upgrade users to new PCs.
PCs with WinTPC will not require the VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) license that regular thin clients will need to access VDI desktops, Microsoft officials have said. Microsoft officials said today that they are planning to add Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) support for WinTPC in the third calendar quarter of 2011.
In a blog post on the "Windows For Your Business Blog," Microsoft officials noted the approved uses for WinTPC:
"WinTPC is designed to be a thin client device, and therefore only applications that fall into the certain categories are enabled. These categories include security, management, terminal emulation, Remote Desktop and similar technologies, web browsers, media players, instant messaging clients, document viewers, NET Framework and Java Virtual Machine. If customers want to locally run productivity applications such as Microsoft Office, or any other application that does not fall into the categories mentioned above, they would be better off using a PC, as thin client computing may not be the best fit for their scenarios."
Microsoft released a first test build of WinTPC in March 2011. While the test build was available to the general public, the final product is limited to volume licensees with Software Assurance only.
Update: A couple more tidbits from Microsoft's blog post today: WinTPC and Citrix’s Receiver technology will work together, enabling XenApp or Xendesktop via WinTPC. And System Center Configuration Manager and the Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 products can be used to manage WinTPC clients.