Dell announced a number of updates to its Wyse thin client software today, including new offerings for ThinOS, Wyse Management Suite, Wyse Converter for PCs, and Wyse Easy Setup.
The idea behind ThinOS is to provide a secure and manageable experience. The user isn't storing any files or applications on the device, and the OS doesn't have any public APIs, so it's secure. This allows for fewer moving parts in the thin client, like a hard disk drive, and since the data isn't stored on it, it's easier to manage.
ThinOS 8.5 adds support for Citrix RealTime Media Engine and multiple audio devices, including support for a secondary ringer. For example, if your organization uses Skype for Business, you can have the call ring from multiple audio sources.
Dell is also adding support for two-factor authentication for Citrix NetScaler, and if you use Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol, ThinOS 8.5 now supports RDP 10. There's also Blast Extreme Acceleration, which accelerates H.264 video content up to 1920x1200 resolution.
Finally, ThinOS 8.5 includes a new setup experience. There's now a wizard to help users get up and running for the first time. All in all, it's a sizable update to follow up on ThinOS 8.4, which was released in July.
"Part of making it easier for our customers to deploy and run digital workspaces is to create thoughtful integration between the hardware, software and back-end infrastructure," said Darrel Ward, senior vice president, Dell Commercial Client Product Group. "We want the Wyse thin client experience to be the best it can be for our customers. We’re setting out to achieve that through continual investment in our software solutions to create a holistic ecosystem our customers can easily integrate into their existing IT environments."
Wyse Management Suite is Dell's software that allows "organizations to configure, monitor, and manage more than one hundred thousand Wyse thin clients", and it has been updated to version 1.1. Those on Wyse Device Manager can now migrate to Management Suite, as the tools have been merged, and there's an Import Tool to help "migrate critical data".
Another new feature for Management Suite is called Remote Shadow. This is a troubleshooting tool that allows an admin to track or take control of a thin client, no matter where it's located. The Advanced Installer adds support for MySQL, on top of the variety of databases already supported, and the app integrates completely with the rest of the Wyse ecosystem.
Part of that ecosystem is the Wyse Converter for PCs. It might be obvious from the name, but this is a utility for converting a PC into a thin client. An obvious reason to do this would be to save costs. If you're already planning to replace some PCs with thin clients and you want to keep others, those can be converted. What's interesting is that this will work on any PC that supports Windows 7 or Windows 10, rather than just Dell PCs. Organizations can get a 45-day free trial of the Converter for PCs, and if it doesn't work, they can switch them back.
Finally, Wyse Easy Setup is a way for IT administrators to easily setup a Windows-based thin client according to the company's policy. System configurations can be replicated, or they can be made to use "kiosk mode", which only allows the user to run certain applications.
ThinOS 8.5 will be available in the first quarter of 2018, while Wyse Management Suite 1.1 and Wyse Easy Setup are already available (Wyse Easy Setup will come embedded in new hardware later this year). Wyse Converter for PCs will be coming in late February.
If you want to find out more about thin clients, Dell has a site set up, where you can actually calculate how much your organization would save by switching.