The thin-client software market got a bit more crowded last week when Network Computing Devices (NCD) announced its enhancements to Microsoft's Terminal Server Edition of Windows NT.
Once a market dominated by Citrix Systems, the thin-client protocol market has evolved into a strategic hinge that will have significant impact on the future of thin clients.
NCD's ThinPath family of software enhancements to Microsoft's RDP protocol will give the software giant's fledgling technology more credibility against Citrix's competing core technology, the ICA protocol.
Currently, in a multi-user Windows environment using Windows-based Terminals (WBT), an IT manager must purchase Citrix's MetaFrame with ICA in addition to Windows Terminal Server in order to receive functionality such as load balancing and multimedia.
But with NCD's ThinPath software solution, users can add some of those functions to the RDP protocol, which comes standard on WBTs, making RDP a more realistic solution than previously, when it offered very limited functionality.
"We couldn't wait for Microsoft, so we are filling in all those holes [in RDP]," said Bob Gilbertson, president and CEO of NCD.