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What the hell is… a thin client?

Something Oracle doesn't know about any more

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Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, walked the walk and talked the talk about thin clients oh so long ago... But Oracle has now dumped the entire idea, sources close to Ellison told The Register today. So it was an expensive waste of money, right? Other companies like NCD and Citrix might not think so. A thin client is a bit of software which might sort of work on a cut down machine which doesn't necessarily use Intel x86 chips. Citrix makes software that lets such cut down machines run Windows software. If and when Citrix signs a deal with Sony for the Playstation II, which we confidently predict will happen, that will mean that for about two hundred quid you could have a box in your living room that outperforms Coppermine, the AMD K7, or whatever. Oracle's Ellison caused a kind of galvanisation in the PC industry. He was concerned to knock the opposition, to wit Bill Gates of Microsoft. And he succeeded. Gates was so confused by Ellison's message that PC vendors like Compaq and Dell, offered to make so-called NetPCs. IT journalists call such machines doshless workstations. They rely on central servers to deliver data. And that's what a thin client is. And the word galvanise means to put tin on the outside of the can. ®

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