Network Computing Devices broadens thin-client reach

Network Computing Devices broadens thin-client reach

Network Computing Devices (NCD) last week beefed up its Windows terminal line with software that features improved support for peripherals and sound, and a separate package that handles load balancing.

The software packages will work with NCD's ThinSTAR line of Windows terminals, which are compatible with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or Citrix's Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol.

The company's new ThinSTAR Plus software allows peripherals - such as printers, barcode readers and other devices - to directly connect to NCD Windows terminals. ThinSTAR Plus supports serial devices attached to Windows COM ports and parallel port devices.

Peripheral support could be especially handy in point-of-sale situations in which a sales agent needs to print a receipt or scan an item but is running an application on a remote server.

The software also supports sound output and input in the form of WAV, MIDI and video files. Lack of sound support has been a general weakness of Windows terminal technology.

While the software supports sound applications on Microsoft's RDP and Citrix's ICA, NCD officials expect most sound applications will run over RDP.

NCD also announced the rollout of ThinSTAR Load Balancing software, which works with Microsoft's NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition or Citrix's MetaFrame terminal server technology.

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