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HP trades in Transmeta chips for Athlons in PC blades

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HP has done the inevitable and replaced the Transmeta processors that once powered its blade PC products with low-power Athlon chips from AMD.

The new line of bc1500 blade PCs are HP's latest attempt to reformat the desktop PC market. The systems with Transmeta-based chips seemed to have done as well as most Transmeta-based products - fair to bad. Going with the Athlon 64 chips should at least let HP claim it's making more of a mainstream play with these anything-but-mainstream systems.

You all know the blade PC and thin client pitch. Companies save on administration costs and reduce headaches by moving PC functions into the server room. With blade PCs, each user get his own server or shares the server with just a few people. The users still have a monitor, keyboard and mouse on their desk but no wheezing, heater underneath it. With thin clients, more users typically share a more powerful server.

Much to Microsoft and Intel's delight, the blade PC/thin client idea never really seems to catch on. Users like their desktops, and the whirr makes them feel comfortable. It also provides customers with a physical object to abuse when things go wrong.

Still, HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Lenovo, Wyse, ClearCube and others remain determined to sell these newfangled systems.

Who do you turn to when you need a quotation to promote something like a blade PC? You guessed it. Dial-A-Quote.

"With Consolidated Client Infrastructure (CCI), businesses are able to better secure, protect and manage their PCs, putting them one step ahead of common IT challenges," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group. "With CCI, HP has the broadest desktop portfolio of any vendor, with all platforms operating under a consistent set of management and security tools. This breadth showcases that HP is targeting their innovation efforts at improving those things most important to business customers."

And you can trust Rob because as his online resume shows, he's worked with HP. But that's neither here nor there.

The blade PC/thin client pitch really does make sense, which is one of the more frustrating aspects of the technology. To make your blood boil have a look at HP's gear here. ®

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