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Microsoft Windows Thin PC Beta – for free

Microsoft are offering a locked down version of Windows 7 designed to turn cheap hardware into ‘thin-client’ systems.

This operating system is geared to administrators who want cheap and easy PC systems for employees, without having to worry about fixing a plethora of user generated problems. This operating system is called Thin PC, or WinTPC and it uses virtualisation technologies to turn lightweight hardware into centrally managed thin clients. The locked down concept means that administrators have all the power at their hands.

The software concept is a solution to a common problem, with rogue employees who just can’t leave software alone. This software is designed to minimise the amount of data which is written to disk, providing a static environment setting which is centrally managed via the System Center introduced into Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft also claim that ditching old hardware will be easier as there wont be the same worry about data security.

The thin client model should stop a lot of problems for businesses, because if a problem occurs, its a simple case of rewriting a new virtual image.

Microsoft are hoping that thin client technology might be the way into the future, even though the basic concept it has been around for years now. They are offering a pre-release preview of Windows Thin PC for business, but they aren’t guaranteeing that the software will be completely stable yet. They say that reverting to a standard desktop system is straightforward enough if problems do occur.

You can get this beta right now for free, from the Microsoft Connect site, but after the beta period is over, you can be expected to fork out money. After all Ballmer doesn’t get his yachts for nothing.

KitGuru says: have you tried it yet? let us know what you think and if your business would find it useful.

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