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New Why isn't a thin client compelling in that situation?
Years ago the folks at Serenity Systems would talk about the wonders of using OS/2 and Warp Server and some glue to enable booting over the network faster than booting from the local hard disk. It would seem to be an ideal solution to this problem.

I assume that it hasn't taken the world by storm because:

1) It's not Windows.
2) Small businesses don't generally plan their computer infrastructure unless they have to. When they need a new computing box, they get a new PC. They don't worry about backups and data security until it's too late.
3) It's not Windows.
4) It requires a server and a decent network and someone who can get it all running.
5) It's not Windows.

Sun and others were pushing thin clients for a while too.

Do you think that the businesses you deal with are going to continue to use fat PCs over the next, say, 10 years? Will they trust Microsoft or Symantec or Google to do periodic backups of their systems over the Internet as part of Windows Update v 23 (for a "nominal" subscription fee, of course)? Or will businesses finally realize that the only thing that keeps them alive is information (with the corollary that offshoring of business functions is drilling a tapered hole in their heads)?


New Reasons 1 through 5 . . .
. . but particularly that they have no system administrator.

When they need a computer they just go out and buy it. They expect their camera interface and their Blackberry interface and now their wireless cell phone interface to just install by sticking in a CD. Particularly the camera interface can be critical.

And in almost every small business there's at least one critical application that runs only under Windows, so a different OS is not practical.

Most are too paranoid about their business data (could be for one or more of several reasons) to allow some outsider to back it up over the Internet. The favorite backup setup for a small business is a server with a tape drive and a receptionist who can be depended on to change tapes and a PC guy to check the tapes once in a while.

Some with different requirements back up to rewritable CD, but Windows XP's built in "user friendly" CD software has made that a very iffy thing. If it decides it doesn't like a rewriable (often), it just treats the job as a write once and stores everything somewhere and then starts popping up messages about files waiting to be written to CD. The users don't understand any of this. Whoever designed that thing should impaled on a thousand shards of broken CD.

Except for the accounting data on the server with the tape drive, backing up everything else is pretty hit-and-miss.
     Microsoft in talks to buy adware publisher Claria - (Andrew Grygus) - (21)
         Lemme get this straight - (ben_tilly) - (2)
             One stop 'shopping'. -NT - (imric)
             The American Public will continue to complain to me . . . - (Andrew Grygus)
         Rather have you show me Linux and WINE - (jb4)
         And I'll help with OS/2 installs on the East Coast. ;-) -NT - (n3jja)
         Microsoft Anti-Spyware now ignores Claria. - (Andrew Grygus) - (15)
             How many days are left on the doomsday clock? :-/ -NT - (Another Scott) - (10)
                 I suggested they move it up a couple minutes - (Ashton) - (9)
                     I think he meant the Gryge's own "Internet useless at" clock -NT - (CRConrad) - (8)
                         Prolly, but aren't the Count-down clocks synchronized? -NT - (Ashton) - (1)
                             Hopefully not. - (CRConrad)
                         Actually that was 'Windows useless on the Internet'. - (Andrew Grygus) - (5)
                             Today I had one so bad . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (4)
                                 At $3-400, via those execrable Mail-in coupons.. - (Ashton) - (3)
                                     Not quite so simple . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                                         Why isn't a thin client compelling in that situation? - (Another Scott) - (1)
                                             Reasons 1 through 5 . . . - (Andrew Grygus)
             Why useIE to kill cache; why not just use "deltree"? -NT - (CRConrad) - (3)
                 Cuz it doesn't exist on XP? - (pwhysall) - (2)
                     More properly... - (inthane-chan) - (1)
                         Nah. - (pwhysall)

Seriously, for someone who shows some signs of intelligence, the consistency with which you misunderstand anything inconvenient to you is quite amazing.
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