New initiatives in thin-client-based computing, from companies such as IBM and Wyse, will be detailed at the first-ever Thinergy conference, in the US this week.
IBM will announce a "try and buy" program in which resellers will bundle IBM Network Station Manager, Citrix MetaFrame, Network Computing Devices' Wincenter, and a version of Lotus SmartSuite configured to run on Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition.
Customers will be able to use the products for 30 to 45 days before deciding on a purchase.
At the conference, Novell will demonstrate a version of its ZENworks desktop management software integrated with Citrix MetaFrame. The availability of Novell Directory Services in MetaFrame will expand users' ability to customise applications that thin clients access, Novell said.
Meanwhile, Wyse Technology today announced new features for its Winterm product, including interoperability with HP OpenView and CA Unicenter, as well as expanded automated client/server failure detection and rerouting functions.
The release of Microsoft's Windows Terminal Server Edition, code-named Hydra, may have renewed interest in the thin-client market.
"The market stalled waiting for Hydra," said Eileen O'Brien, an IDC analyst. "There was a sense that Microsoft was not serious about the market, but, going forward, Windows-based terminals will catch up."