Wyse claims greater than expected interest in the recent release of its new Linux-powered thin clients proves the market may finally be ready for the form factor.
Since the range's launch at Linux World in August this year, corporate interest had been overwhelming, Wyse marketing manager, Stevan Caldwell, said.
"You usually see Linux around the edge of the network with web and mail servers, but after we launched the 5150 in San Francisco the response for Linux for the desktop has been just amazing," he said.
Whilst Caldwell did not have sales figures based on operating system split - the vendor also makes Windows CE and XPe versions of its Winterm thin clients - he claimed the local thin client market had grown 26 per cent in 2003 over 2002.
"IDC forecasts thin client growth at 20 per cent compound annual growth rate," he said. "I would see Linux playing a larger and larger part of the mix. In the global thin client market, Linux is the second biggest operating platform after Microsoft with something like 20 per cent of the market." Companies in retail, banking, manufacturing, and vineculture, had all approached the vendor as a result of its new terminals, Caldwell said. Government was also becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities of Linux, he said.
"It is definitely conscious of ease of use and support, so that plays into the hands of server-based computing to an even greater degree, due to the cost savings thin client computing can also deliver," Caldwell said.
While Wyse had released Linux driven thin client models in the past, interest had not always been so high.
"The problem with the take up of Linux five years ago was that people wanted to be able to pick up the phone and if something was wrong, say fix it," he said. "The support and service wasn't there, but that's now changing."
The channel had also reacted with interest to the launch of the new Linux models, Caldwell said.
"We've just completed a roadshow which touched around 150 of our resellers, which was indicative of the attention thin client computing is getting these days," he said. "We had 22 partners attend in Canberra - I didn't know we had that many people there."
With its partner program approaching the end of its first year, Caldwell said a changing channel revenue mix was also a welcome surprise. The vendor currently has 19 Gold and one Platinum partner from a total pool of 177 authorised resellers.
He said revenue generated by its gold and platinum partners across Australia and Europe from January to August improved by 40 per cent compared with our previous year.