Why Thin Clients Must Die

By | September 19, 2019

Thin Clients Must Die

Reference article Passport to Hell off Arstechnica

Editors Note: Fellow grew up on SCO and amber terminals, and Wordperfect.  I remember those days as I had one of those terminals. Days I talked about the “elegant file system” of inodes.  I grew up on on an XT with an IRMA card working 3270 Mapics. Oh, and DEC220s and Decnet.  My intro to real email in 92. Much different today.  I just gave my HP Chromebook to my wife to take to the mountains so she could watch Downton Abby at the condo over WiFi.  I’m pretty particular about my browser these days as well (Brave as a rule). Looking forward to the next Gnome desktop release in October.

It takes all kinds and I enjoy multiple viewpoints.


Even in traditionally friendly territories, thin client hardware is beginning to be trumped by thin client apps, like Citrix Receiver and VMware View Client. That’s partially because the apps are practically free and can be installed on smartphones and other “thin” devices that are more portable (and more useful) than a static workstation that costs nearly as much as a new desktop. This plays into the whole “bring your own device” approach now being embraced by budget-conscious businesses that might have otherwise opted for thin clients in the past.

The HP Passport seems to be an aberration in all of this. It’s either a thin client for Web-based computing or Web TV for the office. IDG News’ Agam Shah reports that HP spokesman Jim Christiensen explained the Passport as a device intended for Internet cafés, libraries, or schools. “This is the first generation, we’ll see how it does.”

Considering that the Passport doesn’t have the lock-downs on it that those sorts of places want even from thin clients—controlling the length of user sessions or network access to printers, for example—I suspect it won’t do terribly well.

But maybe that’s just me. Haters gonna hate.