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HP Readies Launch of Thin Client Terminals, Devices.

By Siobhan Kennedy

Hewlett-Packard Co will roll out a new series of thin client terminals that will enable users to gain remote access to Windows, legacy and web-based applications in the fall ComputerWire has learned. The PC and server giant is also expected to launch a raft of information appliances including a new range of handheld PCs purpose built with browsers for remote access to corporate data. The push to offering more thin client devices is part of HP's e-services strategy, the overarching aim of which is to allow users access to enterprise data from any device at any time, be it a cell phone, a two-way pager or a laptop computer. The initiative echoes that of rival giant IBM Corp, whose pervasive computing strategy has it that every future electronic device, from wrist watches to refrigerators, will include a chip inside which links the device to a network from which it can download and share data.

HP currently offers a line of thin client PCs under its NetVectra range. The three models, which differ only in processor power, use the Citrix ICS protocol to offer users remote access to Windows applications. It also offers a line of ICA-enabled handheld devices. However, Dan Gates, HP's market development manager for thin clients, told ComputerWire that the company will introduce two new ranges of terminals optimized for remote access to web based and legacy applications, as well as introducing a new range of Windows thin clients. "At the moment, we only provide that functionality for Windows-based apps," he said, "which means users can access those applications over private TCP/IP based networks, but not the internet." However, he said the increasing specialization of customers' needs led HP to develop the new models. "Customers need to be able to gain access to their web based applications or to data that sits on legacy mainframe systems, and that's what these new terminals will let them do."

Gates said he couldn't comment on the much-hyped information appliances that HP is also expected to announce some time later this year. He did, however, say that the company would be introducing new versions of its handheld PCs, designed specifically to act as thin client devices. "At the moment, our handhelds are ICA-enabled which means they can be used to access data remotely, but they're not designed from the ground up to do so." HP is introducing the new range in response to is customers who Gates said are customizing their handhelds for vertical applications, to download sales data, pricing, options and so on. He would not comment on when the new handheld thin clients are expected to be launched. More details will no doubt be unveiled at a scheduled HP e-services press conference next week.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 9, 1999
Words:458
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